How best to cut down on the distraction of email?
November 3, 2014 - Rachel
I’m pondering making a change to the way I work by cutting down on the time I’m being distracted by email.
My natural tendancy is probably the same as most people which is to have email open all the time and then find I’m periodically checking it, responding to stuff and otherwise being distracted by things other than the thing I’m doing.
I’m tending towards having an email window – probably somewhere early afternoon – when I open it up and respond to anything, but then avoid it for the rest of the day. The thing I’m looking for advice on is:
1) How long I should put aside for this time. I know: length of string question – but would still be interested in hearing what you do. I think I may try an hour and see how it goes…?
2) Whether to explicitly tell our clients that this is what I’m doing or just do it? – or do something like put a little note in my signature: “I only look at email between 2-3pm each day” (I think I tend to the latter?)
3) If I do this – should I have an URGENT inbox which twangs me in a different way (I dunno, a Slack push or SMS or something non-inbox related) – for critical “our website is down” stuff…
What do you do – would be really interested in hearing either here or on Twitter..
(btw. I turned off email notifications on my mobile a long time ago, and ditto removed Twitter from there. On my desktop I still use Twitter but kill it when I’m busy. So that’s very much less of a distraction….)
[ UPDATE ]
I’m going to try a 1-3pm email window, and have put a message in my signature telling clients this – but also telling them to ring or hit up our urgent inbox if anything crucial is happening.
If you’re a geek you might like to know that I’ve created a forwarder on this urgent inbox which sends an email to our Pushover account – that way I’ll get an alert on my phone if someone does email us here – that way I know I’ll get to know but without having to check email…. 🙂