I did not expect such immediate results when I started tracking my email habits yesterday.
The knowledge that “it would be noted” stopped me from unconsciously opening up Gmail quite a few times. While I did hope that my motivations would not influence my actions (and thus the data), I’m not complaining about checking my email less.
Here are my usage stats from yesterday:
- Checked email: 5 times
- Habit: 3
- Expecting message: 0
- First check: 08:33
- Last check: 22:43
- Frequency (Average): 03:18
- Total messages: 17
- Total Important messages: 0
This would probably consider this a “minimal” day of email usage. I basically checked my email each time I changed “modes” throughout the day– start of the day, mid-morning, after lunch, end of work, and just before turning off the computer at night.
I had the highest number of messages at the first check in the morning (10), while I had no more than 3 messages at any other time. The main takeaway here is that there is a minimum amount of time required to check my email due to some relatively unchanging conditions (opening browser, typing URL, loading Gmail, etc.). I suspect that the time spent each time I checked my inbox was rather similar despite the difference in new messages. Therefore, if I waited until I had more messages before loading Gmail, I could probably save some time.