Like many people, I enjoy the conveniences that email affords me on a daily basis. It’s hard to even imagine what professional life would be like without constant notifications and helpful meeting reminders throughout the work day. And let’s face it, email has certainly earned it’s preference over unexpected phone calls and has quickly become the accepted and expected method for making an initial professional contact. Of course, every technology brings challenges along with efficiencies. Email, of course, is no exception.

Raise your hand, for example  if you have ever secretly wanted to hit, “delete” and watch your electronic to-do list magically disappear from your inbox. Believe me, you aren’t alone. The data shows that most of us hit the stress zone when the inbox reaches 50. But realistically, 50 emails a day would seem like a vacation for many busy professionals. Add in the social media alerts from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and the like and there is no question that the modern work environment is riddled with digital distractions.

But, it’s not just the work day, email has made a stealthy move into nearly every part of our waking lives. In what other time in history would a game like “phone stacking” have emerged as such a welcome solution to the challenge of keeping dinner guests engaged in a spirited discussion? Moment of truth: Have you ever picked up the tab simply because you couldn’t resist the sound of the beep and the urge to check that one email? Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds.

Take a look at the infographic below and weigh in on the debate surrounding whether email is friend or foe. And, for those of you who have obtained a black belt in email management, let me offer my congratulations! Please consider helping the rest of us by sharing your tricks, tactics and favorite tools for staying friends with your inbox, in the comments section below.

Infographic: Email: Friend or Foe?
Courtesy of: Master Degree Online

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