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Communication Addiction: How to Overcome Excessive & Counterproductive E-mail, PDA...

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  • Communication Addiction: How to Overcome Excessive & Counterproductive E-mail, PDA...

    Communication Addiction: How to Overcome Excessive & Counterproductive E-mail, PDA and Cell Phone Use

    No one can argue that Americans don't keep in touch. Many of us, in fact, won't leave home without several means by which to be contacted: a cell phone, a PDA, a laptop and, just in case all of those fail, a pager. However, these items that are meant to simplify life and make things get done faster can be highly counterproductive, particularly when you become addicted.

    Are You Addicted to Your E-Mail, Cell Phone or PDA?

    Only you can be the judge of whether your use of technology crosses the line between helpful and harmful, but the E-mail Addiction survey by AOL found that many Americans are exhibiting some concerning communication behaviors. For instance:

    The average American checks his or her e-mail five times a day
    18 percent of Americans check their e-mail 10 or more times a day
    Americans spend over an hour, on average, writing or responding to e-mail each day
    Nearly one-quarter of Americans (22 percent) spend from one to three hours daily writing e-mails
    40 percent of e-mailers have checked their e-mail in the middle of the night
    41 percent of e-mailers check their e-mail first thing in the morning, before brushing their teeth, making coffee or going to work

    Perhaps even more revealing, the International Association of Business Communicators conducted an E-mail Overload survey and found:

    81 percent of respondents said their e-mail isalways open
    62 percent said they receive too much e-mail
    30 percent said e-mail regularly has a negative impact on their productivity (and 46 percent said it sometimes does)

    Of course, e-mail is only part of the problem. There are also cell phone calls, pages, instant messages, text messages, home phone calls, business phones, voice mails and faxes. All of this can add up to a communication overload that actually harms productivity and possibly your health.

    When Communication Goes Wrong

    The Center for Work-Life Policy (CWLP) conducted a survey of people who work 60+ hours a week in high-stress jobs and found that the majority (59 percent) believed technology lengthened their workday (as opposed to making it shorter). Meanwhile, another 64 percent said technology encroaches on family time.

    And how could it not? When you allow communication devices to control you, you are giving up priceless time for relaxation, family bonding and pursuing other interests. Further, you are putting yourself at serious risk of work burnout, which means you're over-stressed and in desperate need of some time off.

    Four Tips to Let Go of Your Communication Addiction

    If communication tools are ruling your life, the following tips will help to set you free:

    Release the addiction with The Sedona Method. Think about what's behind your constant urge to check e-mail or always be reachable. Perhaps you are afraid you will miss something, you have anxiety that a problem will arise and you won't be around to solve it, or you're worried about the consequences if your boss can't get a hold of you. However, when you learn to let go of these negative feelings with the Method, you'll feel calm, relaxed and confident, even when you're relaxing at home, sans PDA.

    Set limits. Make a schedule for e-mail, cell phone and other communications, and stick to it. For instance, you may want to check your e-mail just twice a day (once at the beginning and end) and check your voice mails once a day at noon.

    Turn it off. When you leave the office, turn off your cell phone, PDA and e-mail, and don't check or answer anything until the next day. (This also applies to those who work from home once you leave your office, make the computer off-limits.)

    Hide them. If you find it difficult to turn off your communication devices, The Sedona Method can help you release the fears that are fueling this behavior. In the meantime, ask a friend or family member to hide the item until morning.
    Purchase Letting Go Movie on DVD
    Purchase Beyond Letting Go
    Purchase The Sedona Method Course
    Learn The Sedona Method in 2 hours.