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Should You Check Your Email? [infographic]

How often do you check your email? If you're like most of us, you read that sentence, laughed nervously, and checked to make sure your smartphone was where you left it. In other words, the vast majority of us check our email way, way too often for productivity (or sanity).

phone email 

(Photo Credit: Oleg Bartunov/Flickr)

A 2010 survey showed that 1 in 5 of us check our emails first thing in the morning, before we even get out of bed, and 72 percent of us check email on vacation and when we're sick.

Meanwhile, productivity experts advise us to check email less often, in order to get stuff done, and sleep experts tell us to put down our phones (and tablets, and laptops) a few hours before bedtime, in order to get truly restful sleep.

Modern life, of course, gets in the way of our best intentions. It's hard not to check email all the time, when your boss expects it, your friends and family use it instead of calling the old-fashioned way, and the answer to any question is just a Google search away.

Thankfully, illustrator Wendy Macnaughton has the answer to the question, "Should I check my email?"

check email 

(From the book The Best American Infographics 2013, via Farnam Street Blog.)

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