Flashback: This Week Last Year [2012 Week #2]

The second week of January 2012 was a very busy week on Digital Sojourner. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • In Are you a DUDD? Part 1 Email Obession Crawford Paul explored the modern plague of digital distractions. While digital distractions come in many forms the most pervasive is email. Check out the post for his advice to help you tame the beast of email in your life.
  • Tim Tebow and John 3:16 This time last year Tim Tebow was all the rage… everyone seemed to be tebowing AND goggling John 3:16.
  • Also posted to Digital Sojourner this time last year was 5 Tips For Sharing Your Faith of Facebook. This post continues to be one of the most popular posts of all time on Digital Sojourner.
  • Did God Create Evil? Is a very creative and interesting video that explores this age old question.

Hope you enjoy this flashback to 2012 Week #2

 

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Why We Web Wednesday: Email Quick Tip

folder-arrow-down-iconMy regular Wednesday Why We Web blog post is now available.

This week’s post features a VERY SIMPLE tip that will GREATLY increase your email productivity. I know it sounds like some kind of marketing gimmick, but it’s not. This one very simple trick will literally save you hours of time! Honest.

Link: Email Quick Tip

 

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Short and Sweet: Ways to Encourage

How many times have you thought about someone and wanted to give them some encouragement?  Often when that happens we get distracted and easily forget to actually make it happen.  Here are a few suggestions for sending a note of encouragement to others using the internet and technology.  Remember it doesn’t have to be long. Often an uplifting verse and a short note is all that is needed to make a difference in someone’s day.

Email: This is a perfect way to encourage because it is quick and easy. If you have a few people in mind then send one email to several people and put your address in the “To” section and their addresses in the “BCC” section of the email (Blind Carbon Copy).  This means that none of the other recipients will see who is receiving the email.

Facebook: If the person you are thinking about is a friend on Facebook then send them a private message. If you want to encourage them in a way that will benefit others then post it on their wall. Just remember to be discreet and not share any information that might be sensitive and private.

Text: Quick and easy, this is a great just to say you are thinking about someone and to let them know that they are important.

Telephone:  many people still prefer this method of communication. It’s personal but does require a greater time commitment. For those times when you feel an extra special sense to reach out to someone this is often the best way.

The main point is that with many methods there isn’t any excuse now not to encourage someone on your mind. So let’s be more intentional about blessing one another and building each other up!!

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Are you a DUDD? Part 1: Email Obsession

email

Are you a DUDD? is a series of articles dealing with internet usage and the Christian life. It stands for Dude Under Digital Distraction (Ok we made that up and it applies to girls too) 🙂

For many people, multi-tasking is a necessary skill (Just ask any mom). In a typical office or school environment, information is being thrown at us from many different sources.  One of the primary sources of that information is still email.  While email and how we access it is evolving, the truth is that it’s not going anywhere in the near future. It will continue to be a main channel of communication.  The problem is that email is no longer simply about receiving information that matters.  We are flooded with a mix of pertinent, irrelevant and flat out useless emails.  Our task, and it’s often a tough one, is to wade through the haze and pull out what we really need to do our work effectively.

Someone has coined the phrase “Email Obsession Syndrome” to express what many of us deal with. As soon as we hear our phones beep or Outlook chime at us, we stop whatever we are doing to check and see what’s come in. It’s like going out to the mail box at the end of the driveway every time we hear a car drive by. We are just so curious that we can’t stand wondering what piece of info might be sitting there waiting for us to discover. It’s even more of a struggle when we carry our email around with us in our pockets.

Another issue with all of the emails that come in is that many of the emails, while harmless, lead us to other media that can waste our time. It’s hard for us to ignore the many requests from friends or companies to look at the latest product or watch a cool video or check out an awesome website. Before long, the task that we had started and should have taken us 30 minutes is still sitting undone several hours later.

So what is the solution? I don’t think there is a specific answer, but here are a few things that have really helped me cut down on the distraction of the email flood.

    1. Open your email program only at certain times. I learned this from a colleague a few years ago and it’s a great practice. If your email program is open all the time you are going to be tempted to check every email as it comes in. Open your program only once every 2 or 3 hours. That way you are designating a good chunk of time to get tasks completed.
    2. File the emails you want to check out. Your aunt sends you some really cute pictures of her grandkids. That’s great and sweet.  But instead of looking at those pics right away and taking up 15 minutes of your time, move them to a folder that you can go through later when work (or your task at hand) is finished.
    3. Turn off email notification on your phone. If you are using your phone to read email then turn off the notifications. That way you won’t be tempted to check your email every time it beeps at you. Again set a reasonable amount of time to check your email.
    4. Give it a break when you are not working.  This relates to #3 but goes beyond that. When you are out in your car, at the mall, a friend’s house, your local church or relaxing at home don’t let the email obsession take over. We all have a false sense of urgency – like getting an email is the same as getting an emergency call. Just chill out and let the email stay unchecked until you are at home.

The bottom line is that we need to find ways to de-stress and balance our lives better.  Checking every email as it comes in, when it comes in, can cause a chaos that is hard to control. Take measures to lessen that chaos by being smart about email use.  Don’t be a DUDD!

What ways have you handled email obsession?  We’d love to hear.

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Read the next post in this series: Are You A DUDD? Part 2 Facebook Addiction

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