How to Eliminate E-Mail Interruptions

Last Updated Sep 20, 2007 3:01 PM EDT

email1.jpgThere you are, right in the middle of a good work groove, when, ping! -- your mail client sounds the new-mail notification bell. And who can resist checking the inbox right there and then? No one, which is why e-mail is more of a productivity killer than you might think. Productivity501 offers this simple solution:
If you want to get more done, turn off the audio notification for email. You can turn it back on if you are waiting for an important message, but leave it off while you are trying to do normal work. The whole point of email is so you can communicate quickly but asynchronously. That means it is ok to wait a few minutes before typing a reply.

You can't let every email be an interruption. Go ahead and check your email every 15 minutes if you must, but spend those 15 minutes in between getting some real work doneâ€"not jumping to serve the email gods every time your inbox makes a sound.
Of course, you could always shut down your e-mail client altogether, which is what I do when I need distraction-free writing time. How do you cope with constant e-mail interruptions? Put your suggestions in the Comments.
  • Rick Broida On Twitter»

    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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