May 7, 2010
Did you every stop to think that e-mail was not intended for real-time communication. Most of us think it is. When we hear that "DING" we stop whatever we are doing and rush to read and respond to the e-mail. When you need to concentrate on what you are doing, e-mail can be a real DISTRACTION. Think of it as someone walking into your office, and interrupting you to ask a question or share some gossip.The simplest way to stop e-mail from dominating your day is to simply close your e-mail software. This will be difficult for most people so I suggest you do two other things.First, turn off the "DING." If you are using Microsoft Outlook go to Tools/Options/Preferences/E-mail Options/Advanced E-mail Options and uncheck the box that says "Play a sound."Next, set up your e-mail software to check for messages once an hour. By default, Microsoft Outlook checks for e-mail every five minutes meaning you can be interrupted every five minutes, 12 times an hour, or 108 times during a 9-hour workday. If you change this setting to every 60 minutes you will only be interrupted 9 times a day instead of 108, even if you didn't take the suggestion above and turn off the "DING." If you are using Microsoft Outlook go to Tools/Options/Mail Setup/Send Receive/Schedule Automatic Send/Receive Every 60 Minutes.Give these tips a try and see if you are more productive, less stressed, and have fewer unnecessary interruptions during your day.