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Mary Dougherty

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ABOUT mary

I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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The process of sending and receiving letters is idyllic. They arrive leisurely, like someone well dressed and fashionably late. They elicit joy from the recipient for the mere fact that they were intended only for them, well thought out and planned. Matt tries to tell me that handwriting and the postal service is going to die in our lifetime but I vehemently oppose that. I now know one trait I will have as an old lady.

Email, on the other hand, is the ugly stepsister of communication. While a fixture in our everyday life, it easily controls us and tells us what to do. Have you ever been on vacation and checked your email only to received one that deftly ruins your mood, day and trip? I have. Have you ever sat down to do work only to start responding to emails and a few hours later wonder what else you have accomplished? Been there. Wishing for those brown paper packages tied up in string.

It’s not so much that email is rotten to the core, on the contrary, this stepsister needs firm rules and guidelines so that you can get along and who knows… maybe even be friends!

Currently I’m at the stepsister phase of my relationship with email, but I’m making amends. It wasn’t always like this, but these days with a baby, busy travel schedule and lots of real work to be done email can fall by the wayside. So it’s time to get back on track. I applied the inbox zero principle – or actually the amended version where old emails are archived in a folder and you start from scratch on day one – almost a year ago and having a system of folders for organizing email has been wonderful. However my approach to them each day has not been calculated. One of the things I know to do is set aside a time for email answering, set a time limit, and get through as much as I can. Checking in and out throughout the day usually takes away from productivity and distracts from larger tasks. So here’s to a more productive day and writing you back sooner rather than later!

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