Don’t put people off with your email address

The one thing everybody can do is have a decent email address. Don’t share one with your partner, especially not if that’s really clear in the address. At best, it’s confusing because you’re both getting the emails and are bound to miss one that’s for you. But at worst, you look like you don’t use email much and today that equals you not being professional,

The very best email address to have is one that ends in your own or your own company’s name, so something like You get those by having your own website, which you need to have anyway, and when you do, then is an advert for every time you use it.

If you like your email service and your address, still think about leaving it if you’re on hotmail or the like. Actually, there’s a technical reason here for moving away from certain email services. If your email solely lives on the web rather than on your computer, if you can’t read your old email without an internet connection, move to somewhere that lets you.

It’s convenient to have the emails online but it’s inconvenient to have them only online. Plus, if that service closes down for any reason, you’re at best scrabbling to copy it all off and at worst you’re screwed.

But back to email address snobbery.

To be harsh about it, says you’re playing at email; says you’re playing but you signed up too recently to get a hotmail account. Then says you’re an occasional email user who only sticks with AOL because you’ve given that address to so many people.

If you’ve an @btinternet address then that’s okay but its an ad for BT and if the address is one of those then either you look sponsored or that you can’t make up your mind.

Similarly, older Apple email addresses are which is just an ad for the company’s Macs; slightly newer ones are which is doesn’t advertise them, doesn’t advertise you and looks a bit egotistical. Currently all new Apple email users have addresses that end in which is fine: at least you look like you know what the cloud is.

But unless you’re really invested in an older address, if you can’t get, then go for Google Mail. This is best because it’s short, it’s modern and it tells anyone who knows about these things that you may be a power email user. Gmail comes with a huge array of tools for managing immense numbers of emails and for something that’s easy to use and even easier to sign up for, it still has that faintly geeky air that you may or may not like.

Remember, too, that nobody says you can only have one email address. I have the one I’ll give you here for when you want to complain over my being snooty about your address. That’s

I also have a personal address and I keep it because I like it, so there. But I also have any number of other addresses you like, specifically because I own Yesterday I set up a new address for an author I’m working with to send me text. Earlier in the week I used a groupon offer but I signed up as If I get a sudden spike in spam and it’s all to, their mailing list policy is rumbled and I switch that address off.

So you can use your address as a tool but the one you choose to send people can reveal much more about you than you’d hope.

When you have two equally urgent things to do

Do one of them.

That’s it. No great debate, no big decision, just do one of them. Either of them. Doesn’t matter which. Try random, try flipping a coin, try alphabetical order. Just try something, just pick something, and start on that right now.

In the most extreme case I can think of, you have two commissions from different places. Both equally important, equally urgent, both equally on deadline, both equally hard to do. And you can’t afford to disappoint either commissioner.

Even then, do one.

The odds are that you won’t really disappoint anyone: even if the other piece is a bit late, often that’s okay. But even if it isn’t, even if choosing to do one commissioner’s job will seriously disappoint the other, you should still do it. Because the alternatives are worse.

The first and most obvious alternative is that you will try to do both pieces in the same time. We can do amazing things under pressure but even if you manage to finish both pieces, neither will be good enough. Cue disappointment from both commissioners and the certainty that you won’t be hired again.

But then the second alternative is that you try being clever. Clever is good. Except in this case you try to prioritise the pieces, looking at which commissioner will be the most valuable to you later, which job is the better. But we’re talking about the most extreme case when there are two exactly equal tasks. Even if they aren’t spot-on equal, though, this truth applies everywhere and everywhen: the time you spend deciding between the two is wasted.

Don’t spend time prioritising, spend time doing.

Louis CK on making choices

He tells GQ Magazine, I see it on Lifehacker, I want you to know it too:

“These situations where I can’t make a choice because I’m too busy trying to envision the perfect one—that false perfectionism traps you in this painful ambivalence: If I do this, then that other thing I could have done becomes attractive. But if I go and choose the other one, the same thing happens again. It’s part of our consumer culture. People do this trying to get a DVD player or a service provider, but it also bleeds into big decisions. So my rule is that if you have someone or something that gets 70 percent approval, you just do it. ‘Cause here’s what happens. The fact that other options go away immediately brings your choice to 80. Because the pain of deciding is over.

“And,” he continues, “when you get to 80 percent, you work. You apply your knowledge, and that gets you to 85 percent! And the thing itself, especially if it’s a human being, will always reveal itself—100 percent of the time!—to be more than you thought. And that will get you to 90 percent. After that, you’re stuck at 90, but who the fuck do you think you are, a god? You got to 90 percent? It’s incredible!”

Louis C.K. Is America’s Undisputed King of Comedy – GQ magazine (May 2014)

That actually comes from page three of the interview: it’s all a good read so do start right at the top here.