That said, e-mail does have weaknesses in certain key areas, which can be sources of ongoing consumer and organizational frustration.
While it is possible to revamp your productivity by converting e-mails into tasks, the reality is that the way we check e-mails is a drain on our productivity.
We said earlier that the average person checks their e-mail 15 times a day. That doesn't sound like so many until you realize that the average office worker receives 121 e-mails per day, many of them irrelevant to the recipient.
Between checking work and personal e-mails, the average office worker loses 28 percent of their workweek to e-mail. Keep in mind, we don't simply check e-mail. We also have to respond to e-mail.
The Fruitless Pursuit of Inbox Zero
This wasted time occurs, in part, because workers are trying to reach the lauded inbox zero, ensuring that no note or query gets lost in the shuffle. The problem is that your e-mail is working against you.
While spam filters are improving, 45 percent of your e-mail is still spam. Then there are the e-mails that you want but are a nuisance – services you use and enjoy that barrage you with automated messages on top of your usual transactional e-mails.
Plus, the act of wading through e-mail is itself another productivity killer. We tend to read an e-mail within six seconds of receiving it, but it takes up to 23 minutes to regain focus after interrupting one task with another.