Friday, February 29, 2008

Procrastination? Kill or Cure YOUR E-Mail Addiction...

After my post yesterday, I received one comment from Jean over in France. As humorous as it may be she did rather kick me into touch; considering my newly realised addiction to the computer. The biggest problem I appear to have now is my e-mails. As you may be aware, from previous posts this is not a new problem for me; but it does appear to be growing, to the point that I have to check several times a day just to keep up with them!

A lot of what I am receiving is SPAM and despite spam blockers and Norton anti-spam I am still receiving my fair share of the stuff.To be fair; the majority of these messages are sent from websites which I have subscribed to and aren't really SPAM, or are they? For those of you who mightn’t be too familiar with this term I have borrowed the following definitions from Wikipedia the free encyclopaedia that anyone can edit.

Spam (electronic), unsolicited or undesired bulk electronic messages. There are many types of electronic spam, including
  • · E-mail spam, unsolicited e-mail.
  • · Mobile phone spam, unsolicited text messages.
  • · Forum spam, posting advertisements or useless posts on a forum.
  • · Spamdexing, manipulating a search engine to create the illusion of popularity for web pages.
  • · Spam in blogs, posting random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs, wikis, guestbooks.
  • · Newsgroup spam, advertisement and forgery on newsgroups.
  • · Messaging spam ("SPIM"), use of instant messenger services for advertisement or even extortion.

Let’s take Fly Lady Group Mentors for instance; the message history as published on My Yahoo Groups page suggests that I have received a massive 481 messages so far this month! Many of these are reminders; intended to encourage me to keep up with my quest to conquer the messy habits accumulated over the years, while others are testimonials from other Fly Babies.

Now don’t get the wrong idea about Fly Lady; aka Marla Cilley; I think she’s great. I've even bought products from her Fly Shop, some of which I have used and others I have stashed away for future use (there’s a case of good intentions if ever I heard one.) Despite the Fly Lady system being good and it undoubtedly has its merits; the volume of mail is to say the least overwhelming!

But what’s the problem? Well, despite having added Fly Lady and a dozen other culprits to my Outlook address book these frequent e-mails are intercepted by the various spam blockers; which is good isn’t it? Err, no, not really! I still have to go through them, it’s just that I keep opening a separate folder to enable me to do so and it has become tedious.

The answer? Unsubscribe and check out the website as and when it suits me. The same information is published daily and weekly on the home page of Fly Lady’s wonderful site and checking in regularly will give me an element of control over my time which has previously been lacking; especially when used in conjunction with my Fly Lady says just 15 Minutes timer!

Right back at the beginning I indicated that there were other ‘spammers’ involved in this conspiracy to make me lose time in the depths of my e-mail folders? Once again, it is time to unsubscribe from the e-mail groups and consider RSS feeds instead. Don’t ask what an RSS feed is: just press this link and I will let one of the experts in this field do the explaining for me […]

A while back a company published fantastic video software and made it available on the web FOC; which resulted in a number of e-mails from the usual suspects telling me about it. The result? I downloaded the free product and wondered what on earth I was going to do with it; this was a couple of months ago.

Some time later I got to playing with the video software, despite the fact that I don’t own a video camera, and realised just how easy it is to use. It allows screen shots to be videoed with the addition of narration, editing, etc, if I did have a video camera I could incorporate this into the field also. There is just so much that can be done using this technology and what’s more; it is easy to use, even for me.

Still, I wondered how I would use my new toy; until slowly it dawned on me: my Mom isn’t the only one out there who owns a computer and claims to not know how to use it. Just ask around and the majority of people that we know can use it for specific tasks; often performed by courtesy of trial and error. The opportunities are endless; but with this software I have discovered the perfect niche market and the opportunity to possibly make some cash showing people the basics. The idea was quite exciting, but it needed to be sat on and pondered for a while…

Procrastination has always been my middle name; it goes with my initials. While I was routing out the said SPAM yesterday I encountered a newsletter from a company called TechSmith Corporation. Guess who they are? YES! The company who had made the video software available free gratis, so I figured that it was probably worth a read; even if it was consigned to the recycle bin immediately afterwards.

This lead me to one of the brilliant websites I mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post; Clicks! It seems that Peggy Duncan who owns this site had the same wonderful idea that I'd had a couple of weeks ago; only she got there first and has been doing it for a while now. I would fully recommend checking this out and her SuiteMinute blog, as both will probably turn out to be very useful resources. I certainly intend to bookmark them and will be returning in the very near future, I might even subscribe using my Google RSS reader.

To return to Jeans comment about computer addiction and my e-mailing problem, Peggy Duncan has some very good advice which I certainly intend to follow; in fact I have already started. Check out her Fifteen to Cure E-mail addiction… ; admittedly this is intended for use in the workplace; but aren’t SAHM’s and WAHM’s in the workplace too?

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