Welcome back for day three! Yesterday we discussed how to triage your Inbox, an efficient way to distinguish between urgent and important tasks that saves tons of time and allows you to get real stuff done!
Today we are going to show you how to overcome the #1 productivity killer, email notifications.
When you let every email that arrives in your Inbox interrupt you, you destroy your productivity. This is why we set up dedicated blocks of time to check email (remember lesson one!), and this is also why we need to turn off email notifications.
Studies have shown that every time we are interrupted by events like an email notification, it takes us 90 seconds to recover and return to the task at hand. Considering that the average person manages over 100 emails per day, this really adds up! What’s more, 40% of the time when we are interrupted, we fail to complete the interrupted task.
We cannot belabor this point enough—to regain and maintain your focus, turn off notifications everywhere you receive email, including on your smartphone, tablet, and computer. If you’re really ready to take it to the next level, remove the email app from your phone entirely.
Tim Ferris said it best, “Get off the cocaine pellet dispenser and focus on execution of your top to-do’s instead of responding to manufactured emergencies!”
Turn off all email notifications, including badge app icons, banners, and pop-up alerts. Bonus points for turning off other distracting notifications like those from social networking apps! For more details on how to turn off notifications on your mobile device, check out this blog post.
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SaneBox is a simple service that analyzes your past behavior (which emails you open, which you respond to, how quickly, how often, etc) and determines the importance of incoming emails without ever looking at the content (only the headers). It moves unimportant emails out of the Inbox into a separate folder called SaneLater and summarizes them in a digest. It works anywhere you check your email (since it's just an email folder).