Philadelphia: Alcoholics have one, and so do drug abusers. Now people addicted to e-mail also have a 12-step programme designed to tackle their obsession.
An executive coach in Pennsylvania has devised a plan to teach people how to manage the electronic tool. Developed for cases such as a golfer who checked his BlackBerry after every shot, and lost a potential client who wanted nothing to do with his obsession, Marsha Egan's plan taps into deepening concern that e-mail misuse can cost millions of dollars. "There is a crisis ... but a lot of CEOs don't know it," Egan said. "They haven't figured out how expensive it is."
1. Admit that e-mail is managing you. Let go of your need to check e-mail
every 10 minutes.
2. Commit to keeping your inbox empty.
3. Create files where you can put inbox material that needs to be acted on.
4. Make broad headings for your filing system so that you have to spend less time looking for filed material.
5. Deal immediately with any e-mail that can be handled in two minutes or less but create a file for mails that will take longer.
6. Set a target date to empty your inbox. Don't spend more than an hour at a time doing it.
7. Turn off automatic send/receive.
8. Establish regular times to review your email.
9. Involve others in conquering your addiction.
10. Reduce the amount of e-mail you receive.
11. Save time by using only one subject per e-mail; delete extra comments from forwarded e-mails, and make the subject line detailed.
12. Celebrate taking a new approach to email.