Day 1 Reflections on #NoEmail4Lent
While I won’t publish something every day, I thought it might be a good idea to reflect on how day one of my challenge of no email went.
I felt tremendous pressure during the first few hours to have all my variety of methods of communication open. That means Skype, Twitter, Edmodo, LinkedIn, etc. were all open up on my screen. It was pretty overwhelming. By the end of the day I had worked out somewhat of a must-have list of applications running while I sat at my desk so that I actually could spend some time working on meaningful projects instead of darting back and forth between tabs. I’ll go one more day that way, but it’s obvious to me there are some clear favorites when it comes to communication already.
Day 1 Data -
With a Google Spreadsheet open on my screen, I tallied all the interactions I was having via non-email ways. I had a total of 83 non-email interactions as of 8:00pm on day 1. I also have 111 unread emails sitting in my queue. I’m curious how much this will increase or decrease as the days go by.
Out of all the interactions, face-to-face was first with 20 total interactions. Of the face-to-face interactions, I tried to determine which were had because I couldn’t use email. Out of those 20, over half were had because I wasn’t able to be on email. In one situation, I saw our Transportation Director and had remembered I was going to email him about the possibility of WiFi on our buses. However, knowing I couldn’t do that, I tracked him down the hallway and ended up having a nice chat about a great many other things and ideas that wouldn’t have happened over an email exchange.
Twitter was the second biggest form of interactions with 17. I counted any reply or response as an interaction, not just me randomly posting how the day was going. I also counted all direct messages toward that total. All in all, this will be one tool that will remain open throughout the day and checked on my phone as I’m out and about.
Day 1 Surprises -
On the technical side, I was surprised by the lack of Facebook (5) and Edmodo (0) interactions. I think that Dispatch.io (13) is an early favorite for an “email-like” replacement. I also had the most chat conversations (6 different people) than I had ever had in one day.
On a personal side, I was surprised by how many people have been supportive of this endeavor. While I notice some saying it with a smirk or a sarcastic tweet, I truly feel like people are behind me on this. The flip side of that is the couple of people that were not supportive, and in fact, somewhat upset by the fact that this is happening.
Day 1 Challenges -
I mentioned logistics of having all these forms of communication open as a challenge, but surprisingly for me, the biggest challenge is emotional. I am a social creature that loves to communicate with everyone all the time. At one point today I felt like a weight had been lifted, but only because someone cut off my right arm. Most of the morning I sat with a pit in my stomach, worrying that the world had stopped because I hadn’t check my email. That was exasperated by those that were questioning this whole experiment. I’ve got to overcome that feeling.
Early Side benefits -
I can tell already the side benefits of this are that I will be having a lot more actual conversations with people. I had 6 phone calls on top of my face to face interactions and even got to Skype with the lovely and talented Amber Teamann (@8amber8) about a project she’s working on. Rather than sit and “sort through email” this afternoon, I walked down to the elementary near my office and visited with some teachers participating in a BrainPop pilot. I can honestly say, that would have been something I passively avoided because of “work” I had to do (i.e. email).
I’m trying to keep a log on my #EmailLess page of this blog as well as Storifying the #emaillesslent hashtag. Think I might change that to #NoEmail4Lent (thanks @classroom_tech!).
1 Day down….39 to go….