We just wanted to share another excellent article from 43 folders with you. Merlin quotes a new article from the New York Times about how organizations are finally starting to realize how big drag on productivity emails and instant messaging have become.

Merlin asks the most pertinent question possible: “What does a company get out of its employees spending half their day using an email program?”

In many ways the most shocking stat is this:

“A typical information worker who sits at a computer all day turns to his e-mail program more than 50 times and uses instant messaging 77 times…”

However, you also need to think about the overall productivity as this infographic shows. In total, we spend 48% of our working hours either in meetings or being interrupted by things that are neither important nor urgent. If I spent 4 hours of my time every day either checking my Blackberry or being in meetings I would never get anything done!

It just goes to show the importance of working in a structured way and perhaps taking some inspiration from the Importance/Urgency Quadrant proposed by Stephen Covey, A. Roger Merrill and Rebecca Merill in First Things First.

This has been adapted into a version for how to handle emails over at The Productivity Blog, where you will also be able to find inspiration for other ways of increasing your personal productivity. The article is one that I wrote some time ago and is based on the principles of the Time Manager® productivity tool, just updated for the 21st century.

Head on over to 43folders for the full low-down and Merlin’s very relevant thoughts in his excellent commentary that I completely agree with.