I opened my Gmail account this morning to see a new Label called “Buzz” just under my Inbox label. Hmmm. I clicked it and read the “Welcome” letter, spent a few more minutes looking into it at the Google Buzz site, Read the Google Blog about Buzz, watched a video about it (see bottom of this post), then I immediately removed it from my email interface by performing the following task:
Click: Settings -> Labels -> Hide (next to the Buzz Label). Now the “Buzz” label is not visible from my Gmail interface.
Sorry Google. My Gmail interface is a productivity tool. I have a lot of stuff to get done. I pay you an annual fee for the extra storage space I need. I don’t want a bunch of new crap inserted into my inbox which will no doubt slow me down, distract my thinking and reduce my productivity.
It is with great diligence that I put the Labels and Filtering options in Gmail to use in order to keep stuff out of my face that I don’t want or need to see immediately, or at all. I don’t need a new Google Buzz Box providing an endless stream of the social goings on and digital mussing of the people in my Gmail contact database, which is currently at 2700+ and growing daily. If I want to know what people are doing, and I have time to waste, I have other ways of accomplishing that, such as visiting Facebook or surfing blogs.
The advertised features of Google Buzz are:
No setup needed – Automatically follow the people you email and chat with the most in Gmail.
SC: Yeah, I noticed that, and turned it off immediately. No thanks.
Share publicly or privately – Publish your ideas to the world or just to your closest friends.
SC: I’m trying to catch up on email, not share my ideas with the world.
Inbox integration – Comments get sent right to your inbox so it’s easy to keep the conversation going.
SC: No! Leave my inbox alone. I work hard keeping it at “zero”.
See updates in real time – New posts and comments pop in as they happen. No refresh required.
SC: Oh Dear God No! Don’t you get it? I’m trying to work and get stuff done. Leave me alone.
Just the good stuff – Buzz recommends interesting posts and weeds out ones you’re likely to skip.
SC: No. Don’t recommend anything to me. Stop bothering me. Go away, I’m working.
Maybe this is a knee-jerk reaction and I’ll gradually become aware of ways that Google Buzz can be utilized while remaining segregated from the focus and attention I need to maintain when in my “Email Office”. I just don’t feel like I need more social networking stuff foisted upon me at this point in life. Enough already.
Email Efficiency – Not Letting Email Run Your Life
At present, I have a systematic and specific way that I deal with email. My routine is a result of reading about how others deal with high-volume email and adopting those various ideas and concepts. If you recognize some of these ideas, you’ll know they are not my inventions. I borrowed them all. If you constantly feel overwhelmed by email, and are guilty of letting things slip through the cracks because they fall off your radar, the following routine is what helps me stay on top of (or quickly dispense with) the 200-300 emails that come at me each day. Here’s what I do.
Read more …
I’ve always been a night owl. My first late night job was in high school, mopping up and taking out the trash part time at a restaurant after closing at 11PM. After high school, not taking well to college right away, I worked second shift 3:30PM to midnight at a factory in San Diego for 18 months. This resulted in countless all-nighters, though I did, unbelievably, maintain perfect attendance without one single late or sick day.
It was a Japanese-owned factory, and perfect attendance each month was rewarded with a $5 bonus and the designation of “Honor Employee”. I liked my $5 bonus the first of each month ($4.34 after taxes), and I liked the way my manager bowed in thanks when presenting the bonus check and saying to me in broken english “You are Honor Employee. We appreciate you”.
To this day, I can’t believe that a wild young, irresponsible, unreliable 18-19 year old like me could be tamed and made 100% punctual by the desire to receive that simple ritual affirmation and a few extra dollars each month. But if you’ve never been bowed to in ritual and honored by an oriental boss, and told you are appreciated in front of all your co-workers, it’s intoxicating. It’s addicting. And it made me feel entirely worthy and valued when everything else in my college-droppout-beer-drinking life indicated otherwise.
So I made sure I was on time every day and didn’t miss work. I think my lifelong work ethic can be attributed to the punctuality habits caused by that $5 bonus and the seemingly trivial yet potent acknowledgment of appreciation each month.
Read more …