Instant Gratification: By turning off instant-notification of new email messages, you put yourself back in control of your workday (and your email).
Ivan Pavlov discovered classical conditioning when he realized that his dog salivated when he would walk into the room (with or without food). The concept was simple, you bring the dog some food on a regular basis and before you know it, the dog has an automatic response.
You are not a dog. And yet when your phone chimes each time you get a new email you (just like the dog), begin to salivate (figuratively, hopefully). You read it and (more often than not) start to respond right then and there. Do you keep your email open all day? Most people do. We have to stay in touch, right?
Screw that. There’s a better way. Batch your emails. Some people only check email twice a day. I do it a little more often than that. What’s important is that you are breaking the vicious pattern of I-just-got-an-email-and-now-I-must-read-it-this-very-second-or-I’ll-die. Don’t get me wrong, everybody likes being responded to quickly and it helps to get the sale. But you do not need to reply to every email in less than two minutes.
You cannot be productive and think creatively if you are battling constant distractions.
We’ve been treating email like a text message. If you text me, I hear the beep and I read it right away. We need to treat email more like snail mail. We get a bunch and we process them all at once. Can you imagine if you got actual mail like you get email and you just stopped what you were doing every time a letter showed up so you could open it and read it instantly? Kill me now.
Batch your email, save your sanity. Own your inbox. Are you brave enough?