The verdict is in. Technology is addictive, say the researchers, and answering and checking messages incessantly can drive impulsive behavior and stress. You need to control the devices, instead of the other way around, to be able to bring full attention to your work and decisions and clear space for your life. Turn off the BlackBerry and check it manually. Don't check e-mail at home. Make sure you have daily disconnect time to remove yourself from the fray. Send less mail. Ask before you click: Is this message critical? Does it rise to the importance of a phone call? Are you sending the message because you can? Congratulate yourself on how many messages you resist sending each day.
Entrepreneurs are great at action and the big picture but not so good at keeping piles of junk at bay. Invest in a smoother, less stressed operation by bringing in a professional organizer or by taking a Franklin-Covey or "Getting Things Done" course. Let go of stuff that's bogging you down and cluttering up your desk and thinking. File, act, or toss, as organization guru Barbara Hemphill puts it. Getting organized frees up clarity and vitality that can increase your performance for the tasks that are the most important and may be getting sidetracked by the jungle of low-priority chaos.
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Kathleen, Founder and CEO of Grayce & Co, a media and marketing consultancy, can help you develop a brand strategy, build marketing campaigns and learn how to balance work and life.