IM Crisis: I Just Got over It


A couple of weeks ago, I posted a little missive about how I was driving myself crazy with IM.


At the time, I was smart enough to lay most of the blame on myself for the barrage of needless message windows that keep me from doing real work -- like posting to this blog more than twice a week. I also crafted a set of three simple rules I planned to test-drive, and promised to report back on my progress in a couple of weeks.


Turns out, I was right. It was all my fault.


By simply thinking twice before firing off an IM, I've cut my messaging volume by about half. I really didn't need to think all that hard about it, either. One of my proposed rules was: "If I don't really need to know/act in the next hour, I'll send an e-mail." Never really needed to get that quantitative -- a simple, "Do I really need to do this?" was all it took to rein in my IM clutter.


In the spirit of full disclosure, I probably should add that many of my co-workers read our blogs (at least I hope they do), and that may have had some impact on the volume of inbound messages I've received over the last couple of weeks. One of our sales reps pinged me the other day with a perfectly reasonable question; she prefaced her IM with a comment like, "I read your blog, but ..."


That wasn't necessary, of course, but it's kind of gratifying to think that I encouraged at least one person think before they IM'd.


So, no great revelation. Like in most cases, the underlying problem with this tech was the person using it. Which makes me shudder at the thought of Twitter. Never, never, never.

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