How many times are you engrossed in your work, completely focused, and then that little notification pops up in the corner of your screen? A new email!
Here’s how the thought process goes…
“Wait a second… who was that? It faded away before I could see. It might be the important email I’ve been waiting on? Or maybe it’s from my boss. I better check to see if I need to answer it immediately. OK, it wasn’t that important. I’ll just get back to what I was doing. Now where was I? Did I finish that last part or not?”
Do you see the problem here?
I’d be willing to bet that most everyone reading this post keeps their email open all day. You have to right!?
When your email is open all the time is too tempting and too distracting. Even if you don’t respond to email as it comes in, the pinging or pop-up notifications are often distracting enough to weaken your resolve and break your focus. So here’s what you do:
Get rid of distracting email by designating specific times as “email time”.
Set a time in the morning, afternoon, and before you leave the office as “email time”. Otherwise, turn off Outlook and silence your cell phone. Now you can focus on the task at hand completely uninterrupted for an hour or more if needed. You’ll be surprised how much more productive you are without the distraction of EMAIL! It may not work for everyone, and you may not be able to do it all the time, but when you have a critical and time-sensitive task, this is a great productivity hack for getting stuff done!