Turn off your notifications
Not that I am proud to admit it, but I have long had a struggle with my email. What started out as a wonderful and rapid option to writing personal notes quickly got out of hand. No longer used as much for communicating, my email inbox then became a funnel for every conceivable marketer, and doubled as my TO DO list. When it got to be so long that I was loathe to even look at it, the hundreds became thousands, and it was certainly no longer a useful addition to my tool kit.
So I recently bit the bullet and took an Outlook class to try to tame this little monster. It was one of the smartest classes I have taken in a long time, and within a day I had it totally under control ~ the operative part of that being that now I was in control, and not my email that was supposed to be there for my benefit.
Of all of the things that I learned, probably the simplest and, in my opinion, one of the most brilliant ideas that I came away with was ~ TURN OFF YOUR NOTIFICATIONS. When the instructor first said that, I gasped at the thought of the withdrawal of something so, well . . . DRASTIC.
But think about it. I receive, on average, 200 to 400 emails per day. No matter how many I unsubscribe to, they just keep coming back from a different angle. If you have your notification box set up (like I did) to pop up with the little notification in the lower right corner of your screen, the reality of that is that you will be subtly distracted dozens, if not hundreds, of times per day. Since most of it is junk anyway, it is not worth taking me away from what’s important to let me know that something UNimportant has just hit my Inbox. And if it IS important, I will be checking my email throughout the day ~ but now, it is at MY CONVENIENCE. Just this one little change (that, and creating RULES ~ which is another post), and I have had one of the most productive weeks in a long time. When I realized how much work I was getting done, I became very conscious of the fact that it is now so much easier to stay FOCUSED on the task at hand.
If you are a PC user and have Outlook and would like to turn off your Notifications, it is very easy. In your Outlook Toolbar across the top, go to TOOLS > OPTIONS > PREFERENCES > EMAIL OPTIONS (under email heading) > ADVANCED EMAIL OPTIONS (under Message Handling) > WHEN NEW ITEMS ARRIVE IN MY INBOX (I unchecked them all). Have a productive day!
(And if you aren’t yet a Subscriber to my Musings, maybe now is the time)