i have become accustomed, over the last 10 years or so, to having my email automatically checked every five minutes. over the last few days i have broken out of the custom, by starting my mail app every few hours and then quitting it, and i think i like it more. instant messaging is far better for communication that requires an immediate response, and email is better for things that do not. i can handle multitasking and being distraction-driven pretty well, but it has gotten to the point where my mail app rings every five minutes, grabs my attention, and either has junk waiting for me, or something that requires me to stop doing what i am doing and focus on it. often, a message requires more time than i can give it at that moment, and then it becomes something in the back of my mind “…need to return so-and-so’s email”. with IM, i can just type “hey i am busy, can you ping me later”, and then i don’t have to think about it until later. or i can just switch to DND, which can mean that i am actually away, or that i am screening my calls 😉
so far, the experiment is working out well. i think this may be a permanent change.