Schrödinger’s email inbox

A cat + some kind of a box = a post illustration very well chosen

Schrödinger’s cat is a famous paradox where a cat is put in a box, a liquid is poured inside and the box closed. The liquid is either water or poison, chosen randomly. At that point, the paradox is that the cat’s health is unknown, it is both dead and alive.

My recent discovery is that my email inbox follows the same paradox: until I read my emails, it contains both good and bad news. Once I open it and start reading, I can’t go back, especially if it contains a bad news or something I need to work on. If I make the mistake of being too curious and craving for good news before bed time for example, I might end up with a bad news (that keeps me awake because I am worrying), a good news (that also keeps me awake because of the adrenaline) or something I need to work on (that actually makes me get out of bed).

Do not make this mistake. I suggest (and try to apply it to myself) reading emails only if I have time to act on it right away or let the pressure go down. When going to bed: bad timing. When waking up, before breakfast: bad timing. In the train with a flickery network connection: bad timing.

Email is an asynchronous mode of communication that more than often gets deleted by mistake, ends up in spam or gets lost. In the business world, unless instructed otherwise, nobody can expect you to watch your email inbox all day and answer right away.

The ultimate goal: checking my email only two or three times a day!

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Asana is my secret tool. Asana Certified Pro. Author of several ebooks. Asana Community #1 contributor in the world.

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Bastien Siebman

Asana is my secret tool. Asana Certified Pro. Author of several ebooks. Asana Community #1 contributor in the world.