Sunday, July 31, 2011

Technology, Work, and Email

Today I added the book The One-Life Solution: Reclaiming Your Personal Life While Achieving Greater Professional Success to the technology section of the page for books on journalism.  The author, Dr. Henry Cloud, has written a number of other books, including Boundaries.

How does this relate to technology?  The book contains a thoughtful and sound chapter on the use and potential dangers of email.  Dr. Cloud is not encouraging his readers to disregard email; it is an essential part of our work and ministry.  However, it can create problems with a lack of boundaries.  He explains:

Remember the problem.  More people have access to you, and they have access to you whenever they want, just by hitting Send.  They can get to you, and they can get to you now.  This is not a bad thing in and of itself, as long as you can close the door and focus on your "meeting," at the times you need to.  The only problem with e-mail is that there is no door.  So, you have to create one (169).

In the rest of the chapter, Dr. Cloud outlines various ways we can create boundaries around our use of e-mail - when to check it, when to respond to messages, and when to turn it off.  As journalists and as those involved in ministry, it can be tempting ignore the need for boundaries in this area, but Dr. Cloud explains the dangers of doing so and offers some tools to help.

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