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Notifications are destroying your ability to focus on work

Updated: Mar 19, 2022

Every day we deal with a constant barrage of notifications on our devices. Our mobile devices are the biggest culprits in our lives for this, but that's something to deal with another day. For now, let's take a look at what we can do when we're at our desk trying to get some work done.

Did you know that a simple distraction while you working away or are "in the zone" can cause you to lose almost 30 minutes of productivity. That's because according to a study from the University of California it takes on average 23 minutes and 15 seconds to get back to the task.

Now think about it this way, if you get distracted just three times, you could lose an hour of work time! Now, not all distractions are bad, and we should all plan some time to break away from what we're focusing on. The difference here is a planned distraction vs an unplanned distraction or interruption.

One of the easiest and quickest things you can do for yourself is to disable four little check boxes in MS Outlook and reclaim countless minutes and hours of lost time. Follow the steps below to see how you can get back an hour or more of your time a day.

  1. Click on "File" in your MS Outlook menu bar

  2. Click on "Options", located at the bottom left in most Outlook versions

  3. Locate and Click on "Mail" on the left menu in the new window that opened

  4. Scroll down until you find the "Message Arrival" heading

  5. Remove the four check-marks listed in this section

  6. Click "OK"

Now I know that some might feel like you need those notification, but you really don't. What you need to do is treat your email like it's own work and be specific about checking it when it makes sense, don't let it drive your day. Your priorities should drive your day so that you can thrive. Another way to think about it is, email is someone else asking for your time and you need your time for your priorities.


Schedule time to review your email. This will be different for everyone and your role may dictate you check more or less often. Don't be afraid to set specific time for email in your calendar.


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