Were you distracted or interrupted (what's the difference)?

What is the difference between a distraction and an interruption?

A distraction is something you have complete control over. You are the one that let yourself be distracted. Checking your email when you are working on a high priority task is a distraction. Going out for a coffee or tidying up your desk or checking social media is a distraction.

An interruption is something that comes from outside (a phone call, email or visitor). But you still have a high degree of control over these (if you choose to exercise it).

That's why it's so important to turn off all email alerts. Back in the days when email was relatively infrequent, it was handy to have an alert when a new one arrived. But these days, email arrives almost as a constant stream - there's no need to wonder IF you've got new messages, but rather HOW MANY have arrived?

One of the biggest impacts I have been able to help people make with managing their email over my years as an eProductivity Expert is getting them to simply tuning off all the email alerts. It’s vital that you control when you look at email and not be interrupted just because one happens to arrive. So much of the productivity that is done by email is not because of WHAT it is, but WHEN it arrives!

Controlling WHEN you look at incoming messages (email, social media, voicemail etc) is the #1 strategy for getting control of information overload in general, and email overload in particular. 


All the best!