Monday, May 01, 2006

Keeping up with my email - it's hopeless

Here is a – possibly apocryphal – story about the philosopher, John Stuart Mill. At a precocious age, he is said to have committed himself to mastering all of human knowledge by going to a library. He began by reading the books beginning with “A” with the goal of continuing to read until he reached “Z”. But he quickly discovered, to his great frustration, that books were being written faster than he could read them.

My email is like that. One afternoon last week, I blocked out two hours to “catch up on my email.” But at the end of the two hour period, I was further behind than when I had begun. The best I can manage is to scan for essentials. Often, no doubt, I miss things are important among the more than 75 – 100 emails I typically receive each day. But I do assume that my principal role at American University is not to just answer emails, however important they may be.

So if you want to reach me, for sure, pick up the phone, drop by my office, knock at my door in Anderson Hall, or grab me as I am walking across the quad. In the evening this seems, typically to be about 10 PM.

Any suggestions?


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