Time management research, and the psychological construct of perceived control of time, are drawn on to investigate populist claims of the virtues of regularly filing and organising ones electronic mail. Using a process model of time management, it would seem that filing of email may increase ones time control perceptions and thus their job satisfaction and wellbeing. One hundred and sixty five participants were involved in a questionnaire-based field study. Analyses of variance revealed that for some e-mail users, not having a filing system may result in a high perceived control of time. Furthermore, challenging assumptions regarding optimal e-mail organisation, those that tried to frequently file their incoming messages, but did so somewhat unsuccessfully, had significantly less perceived control of time. These results highlight individual differences in control of time perceptions, and recommendations are made regarding organisational e-mail behaviour and training.
Forsyth, D.; Chen, E. (2006). The relationship between different email management strategies and the perceived control of time. (Department of Management and International Business Research Working Paper Series 2006, no. 10). Auckland, NZ: Massey University. Department of Management and International Business.