Why Email Sabbaticals Are An Essential Part Of danah boyd's Work Flow

As a Senior Researcher for Microsoft, danah boyd, (yes, all lowercase, she had her name legally changed), studies how we work, live, and play on the Internet. While the well-known researcher truly loves social media and the online universe, she also understands that sometimes we all need to turn off and tune out. In our Skype chat I ask danah about her slightly controversial email sabbaticals, which include bouncing emails and other sneaky tactics. Oh, but there is one person who always knows where to find danah, no matter how hard she hides.

"The thing about an email sabbatical is that it doesn't come straight out of the blue, it's something I set up over an extended period of time."

For more tips on building your personal brand and working smarter, see Amber Mac's Work Flow series.

Amber Mac is a best-selling author, TV host, speaker, and entrepreneur. She started her career as a web strategist at Razorfish-San Francisco and has spent years working as a tech broadcaster alongside TWiT.tv's Leo Laporte. She is also the cofounder of digital agency MGImedia, a well-known blogger, and the author of Power Friending: Demystifying Social Media to Grow Your Business.

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  • Frank Studenski

    "Autoplay" is so tacky, not to mention downright annoying!

    I'm taking two weeks off reading your site in protest.

  • Clayton Kemp

    This Auto Play is annoying, contemplating removing this as my home page. SAD.

  • Clayton Kemp

    * TURN OFF AUTO PLAY! I'm a huge fan of Fast Company, but there is nothing more obnoxious than having to find this video and shut it up every time I visit the site!

  • Brian Leitten

    What's the problem?  Was my post about getting rid of the AutoVideo too painful for you to post?  Did you curate it out?  SAD

  • Brian Leitten

    It started yesterday.  AUTOVideo running on the Fast Company homepage.  Are you kidding me?????
    Could you be more annoying?  Keep it up for a week and I will not visit you any more.  IF I want to listen to a video, I'll run it.  Who do you think you are. ESPN.go.com?

  • Lindsey Nagy

    While I think everyone knows how to prepare for a vacation (and hopefully they make the time and resources to take many during their working career, let alone life), I completely identify with Danah Boyd's email practice.  I actually decided to do-away with a phone (cellular phone) for all of 2011 (January 2011-present, in fact).  I found that many of my peers, colleagues and friends would rather text than send email or even call. It is hard to ignore a text and therefore I was always at their beckoned call. For the most part, that "issue" wasn't an issue, as long as it was productive notifications.  However, I'm sure if I added-up all of the time I spent texting in my life from 2002-2011, I could have found a better use for that time.  I'm proud to report that 2011 was one of my most productive years on a personal level...and it was also nice that I retired my old number and mobile phone bill after all of those years!  I plan to get a new iPhone this year ('cause I'm getting sick of using a pay-as-you-go for travel and the fact that people don't answer IF I call them, cause they do not "know" that number), but with over 34K emails in my Inbox (and many saved "drafts"), I think it's time I take a lesson from Danah and prepare an email sabbatical, next. ~ Grand Eurekas!,  http://www.LindseyNagy.me