There has to be a better way to allocate my time. Lately I seem to be living in reaction mode. The BlackBerry has a lot to do with this I think.

Ever since I got the little pacifier, I am a slave to the flashing red light. It sits next to my keyboard while I am working on an edit or doing some research or marketing or bookkeeping Рand when it starts to flash I am COMPELLED to stop what I am doing, pick it up, and see what emergency is calling.  

OK, not very many emergencies in the voiceover business, but probably more than one would expect. But usually it is something like an ad for discount travel or hotels, chain letters from friends, Facebook updates, and auditions. I also get scripts from clients for jobs and requests for quotes for possible jobs.

The point is that instead of finishing up what I am doing, I very likely stop – and react to what has just come in my inbox. Many of us do this and we are training out clients to expect this kind of instant response.

But it can really mess with my usually top notch multi-tasking abilities. Suddenly I am playing catch up on the things I stopped doing before the “emergency” and playing the “what did I come into this room for” game.

On the other hand, I have seen people take this issue to the extreme the other way – by including auto-responders to emails with a specific time spelled out that they are checking email.

“Thank you for your email. I check email at 9AM and again at 3PM. If you are writing between those times, please know that I will address your issue as soon as I see it.” (Or words to that effect.)

Given the training that my clients have received, I think this would result in some of them going elsewhere.