Periodic reducation of email interrupt rate
At work, I’ve ended up on many email aliases; since we moved to pursuing open development on opensolaris.org, my subscriptions and incoming email flow have grown tremendously, to the point where they were interfering with my ability to get work done. My present filter setup involves delivery to 56 inboxes.
I’ve had a small email toolset built around the Mutt email client (or mail user agent (MUA) in email-speak). My
$HOME/.mailboxes, which is a list of the mail inboxes into which my
procmail filter delivers. The
check commands use
.mailboxes to determine where new messages have arrived. Happily, this infrastructure can easily give me a few hours of reduced interrupts, so that I can get some thinking and writing done.
The idea is to strongly reduce the number of significant inboxes during what we’ll label as “prime” work hours, between lunch and dinner on weekdays. Given the use of
.mailboxes outlined above, the solution is pretty easy:
- Take a copy of
.mailboxes.prime. Prune the prime mailboxes severely.
- Install these files in
$HOME. (My Makefiles do this, and all the mailbox lists and the Makefiles are version-controlled.)
Add something like the following using
# We want to eliminate mail testing on all mailboxes during prime work
hours. This change means that between 12pm - 6pm, mailboxes is
pointed to a reduced mailboxes file.
0 12 * * 1,2,3,4,5 /usr/bin/ln -sf /home/sch/.mailboxes.prime /home/sch/.mailboxes 0 18 * * 1,2,3,4,5 /usr/bin/ln -sf /home/sch/.mailboxes.offprime /home/sch/.mailboxes
Run whichever of the two
ln(1) invocations above correspond to the current time.
You’re now ready to relax and enjoy reduced interrupt rates, leaving you time to focus on real work… or write blog postings about managing your interrupt rates.