My new found love for Offline Email

So when you’re at work, fat broadband pipe into your office, how many times do you click on SEND/RECEIVE button in Outlook, or check gmail for new stuff?

Once an hour. . . ? don’t lie. . .

Once every 15 minutes. . . maybe, but you probably do it more than that

Once every 5 minutes . . . only for the true ADD/OCD among us. . .

How many IMs do you get?
How many phone calls?

I went through my IM logs, email history, phone records and found it hard to believe how many interruptions I get in a SINGLE heavy activity day:

- Over 150 non-spam emails
- Up to 75 instant messages
- 30+ phone calls coming in
- Send/Receive button (assuming every 15 minutes) is hit another 48 times

That adds up to over 300 interruptions in a single day! If you consider that most interruptions happen during business hours, that’s one interruption every 2 minutes. It’s no wonder I get my best work done between 9PM and 2AM.

But then we start working from Thailand. The Internet for the whole peninsula we’re on goes through one satellite dish. This satellite dish is flaky and can go down for 15-20 minutes at a time. Developers don’t have a problem with that, but [gasp] business dudes can freak out [/gasp].

So we get on the Net for a few hours at a time, a couple times a day. This forced me to adapt. . .but how? I heard of guys doing email offline, and then syncing up a few times a day, but I thought that was for members of the AARP or something. Well, let me tell ya’, offline email is the holy graile of productivity.

I’m offline, no IMs, no Skype, no send/receive - send/receive, and I churn out 100 emails in less than 5 hours-and these aren’t short two-word emails, most of them thoughtful but to the point, usually a paragraph or two long with the occasional one-pager.

100 emails in 300 minutes is an email every 3 minutes sustained. You can’t do that with interruptions. Now going offline for that long can come with some downside, but I guarantee massive increase in productivity to any sales/bizdev. guy who does this 3-5 times a week. . . I don’t care what else he does.

Maybe I’m late to the party, but when I come back to the states, I’m turning wireless/LAN/EVDO card OFF for my special Thai-island productivity feasts.

- chief swoosher

This entry was posted on May 13, 2006 at 3:20 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


Uri Blackman says:
September 18th, 2006 at 8:26 pm

The equivalent in the US is a coast to coast flight. Those 5 hours of concentrated work are the most effective. Another reason NOT to do a red eye.

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