Do you feel the need to check your email every few minutes? If so, chances are you are addicted to your inbox. Do you have a PDA with you all the time? If so, the problem is likely much worse than you think.

You may think that being addicted to email is not a big deal. However, research shows that even email addiction can have negative effects on our personal lives and relationships.

So how do you know if you are indeed addicted to email. Here are a few signs that you can look out for to determine if you are spending too much time in your inbox:

  1. You need to check you email every few minutes even during non-working hours.
  2. When you receive a new message, you respond immediately or within a few minutes.
  3. When you send a message, you sit and wait for a reply (and expect one within a few minutes – even during non-working hours).
  4. Your email takes precedence over in-person activities – both work related and non-work related activities.
  5. You PDA travels everywhere with you and you take it out to read each message as it comes in.

If any of this sounds familiar, you are likely battling an addiction with your inbox. Thankfully, though, overcoming the addiction is simple once you put a few rules and guidelines in place for yourself. In Part II, we will look specifically at some of the rules and guidelines.