I’ve tried to tune my e-mail so that I ONLY get personal e-mail from people – i.e. no marketing, mailing lists, Facebook notifications, and so on. This means that I both get very little e-mail (less than 10 a day) and that the e-mail I do get is a lot more valuable.

Mind Hacks

My latest column for BBC Future. The original is here. Lots of the points made here apply to technology more generally.

Here’s a pretty safe assumption to make: you probably feel like you’re inundated with email, don’t you? It’s a constant trickle that threatens to become a flood. Building up, it is always nagging you to check it. You put up spam filters and create sorting systems, but it’s never quite enough. And that’s because the big problems with email are not just technical – they’re psychological. If we can understand these we’ll all be a bit better prepared to manage email, rather than let it manage us.

For this psychological self-defence course, we’re going to cover very briefly four fundamental aspects of human reasoning. These are features built into how the human mind works. If you know about them, you can watch out for them and – most importantly…

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