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Your email functions like a slot machine. Most of the time you pull the lever and you kind of lose. You get something that’s kind of disappointing. Maybe it’s an email from a frustrated client or it’s a message from your boss asking you to do something you don’t really feel like doing. But then every once in a while you get as I did the other day, an email from a long lost childhood friend or an invitation to speak at a conference that’s very flattering. So it’s kind of this idea that these random rewards are mixed in with all that annoying stuff, and mixed in with all the junk that activates this kind of seeking mechanism in our brain and makes us want to go back and check again and again to see if there are any of those random rewards in our inboxes. You never know what to expect and that’s part of the driving force behind that addiction. – Jocelyn Glei
Jocelyn K. Glei is a writer who’s obsessed with work, careers,and creativity. She is the author of 4 books, including Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done.