Last Updated Dec 30, 2008 11:20 AM EST
Wait, what? Turn off mail alerts? Why would anyone want to do that? Well, think about it: New mail arrives all day, every day, and by default Outlook alerts you to each and every message.
As a result, you've probably grown conditioned to ignore these alerts -- or, worse, you stop whatever work you were doing and check to see what landed in your inbox. Talk about a productivity killer!
Either way, you might be better off without the alerts. Disabling them is a super-simple process:
Choose Tools, Options, and click E-mail Options. Click Advanced E-Mail Options. Uncheck the box to play a sound when a new item arrives, change the mouse cursor, show an icon in the notification area, and display a Desktop Alert. Outlook should now be disturbance-free, letting you focus on other tasks.If you're concerned about missing important and/or time-sensitive messages, the author also explains how to set up rules so that Outlook alerts you only when messages arrive from specific people.
I just turned off the alerts, and already I'm sold. I didn't realize how often I was switching over to Outlook, interrupting my workflow in the process. Definitely worth a try if you have trouble staying focused on the task at hand.