A clear dividing line between important work and busywork

A clear dividing line between important work and busywork. Before there was email, there were letters. It amazed (and humbled) me to see the amount of time each person allocated simply to answering letters. Many would divide the day into real work (such as composing or painting in the morning) and busywork (answering letters in the afternoon). Others would turn to the busywork when the real work wasn’t going well. But if the amount of correspondence was similar to today’s, these historical geniuses did have one advantage: the post would arrive at regular intervals, not constantly as email does.

Sarah Green summarises some of the ideas in the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Curry.

I loath checking email and I resent the amount of time I have to devote sorting through the noise to get to those 2-3 meaningful letters I receive a week. If Gmail’s spam algorithm stopped working I would abandon it completely (like I would if I had to depend on Apple mail). Would you continue to use postal mail if you received 3000+ spam letters a week?

But the older I get, or perhaps the less the sheen of new devices and services fails to dazzle me, I find much of what we/I experience online has little in the way of importance, value or permanence.