Look, we all love email. It's auditable, searchable, and potentially instantaneous.

The problem comes when those who live on email -- say administrative folk -- expect others to approach email the same way. There are jobs whose work is crippled by doing something else every 10 minutes. Let's reread Spolsky on the zone. If it takes me 15 minutes just to start working hard, and my job takes me a good 4-5 hours, it's against all of our interests to expect me to check email continually.

Let me rephrase for emphasis: Email's great because it potentially enables things to happen right now. But if you absolutely need something done right now, email's not the technology that ensures that it happens. We might not check for hours. We might not check until after hours. We might push checking our mailbox until tomorrow morning!

Potential does not equate to requirement. If I knew your email was life and death, I would've checked. Problem is, until I do check, I can't really tell the difference between your email and the latest and best way to sneak in another blue pill commercial past Google's spam filters.