Professionals in the U.S. spend on average more than a quarter of their time reading and responding to e-mail, according to a study from McKinsey Global Institute. Since it takes 67 seconds to recover from each e-mail received, that means people spend nearly an hour and a half trying to clear their heads from e-mail messages, says Dmitri Leonov, a co-founder of SaneBox. "At some point we have to understand this process is hurting us," he says.
Using a notebook to record all your work notes, appointments and contact information is a better way to organize yourself than any technology, says Mike Domanski, who uses a 200-page black notebook. "Use your black book to record your 'victories' or to list your dreams. Use them to record your results. Jot down inspirational quotes. Cut out pictures of what you'd like to buy or places you'd like to visit or scenes that inspire you. Tape them inside," he says.
Evangelical Christian Eric Weathers says FedEx failed to accommodate his religious beliefs when it didn't respond to an e-mail asking about the rules for discussing religion at work. A judge has ruled that a lawsuit by Weathers can go to trial.
Online social networks have crowded out Second Life, which is no longer the darling of marketers seeking to tap into virtual communities. "It's not a really good social space," says Wired U.K. Editor Ben Hammersley, noting that sites such as Facebook make it a lot easier for people to connect. Second Life has also struggled to adapt to the growing popularity of mobile, experts note.