7 Reasons to Keep the Inbox Empty - Part 6

#6: Avoids being interrupted by new messages

Let’s face it, so much of your work these days come in via the inbox. And when you have lots of messages sitting in the in-box, you tend to spend large amounts of time based in your inbox.

But being inbox-based makes it very easy to be interrupted by new, incoming e-mail. These interruptions distract you from the task at hand, dilute your focus, fracture your attention and cause you to start multi-tasking (which makes you even more unproductive).

This is made even worse if you also get an alert every time a new message arrives -  a ’ding’, the little yellow envelope and/or the ‘pop up’ in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.

Three quick ideas to avoid being interrupted by new e-mail;

  1. Simply turn off all your e-mail alerts (click here to find out how)
  2. Even better, when working on the computer, base your work on what is in your calendar (or task list), instead of in the inbox. This allows you to stay focused on the task at hand which maximises your time, attention and energy so that you are able to complete tasks and activities quicker (and to a higher standard).
  3. When processing e-mail, use the 4D method to handle each message only onceconvert those emails which involve a task into a calendar item 

Why not try these ideas today and see for yourself what a difference it makes!

Next (and last) in this series looks at #7: There are more appropriate places to store email messages. Get the full 7 Reasons to Keep the Inbox Empty article from the Resources webpage at any time.

All the best!

Steuart G. Snooks