Every day, many of us experience the interrupt stress of email coming in.
Spam, memos, love notes, pitches, newsletters, they just keep coming in. You are working on a spreadsheet and the little envelope starts jumping or you hear a bell — and you stop what you are doing to check and see what just came in.
You try and try to resist fresh email, but you can’t. Your day whipsaws back and forth between multi-task and non-stop emails.
Did you know that working in a online state like this is the business equivalent of trying to drive a car, talk on the phone and eat at the same time? It is dangerous.
It is also not good for you. When you constantly get interrupted you eventually develop a technology based depression (NEDS: New Economy Depression Syndrome) that can burn you out. Information overload combined with constant interruptions can kill anyone’s creativity and productivity.
Unless you need to be ready for all email comers 24/7 try what I call the Dr. Pepper system:
1. Check email in the AM over coffee and then three more times that day, 10-2 and 4pm. Put in your signature line that you are offline except at those times.
2. All other times, set your email client (Outlook, etc.) to be offline. This will solve the constant alerts. Stick with this like a weight loss plan. You’ll find out that it works and nothing is falling in between the cracks.
For the next few weeks, if you do this, you’ll find that you are getting more done and enjoying your business life more than ever.