The Cost of Continuously Checking Email

Can you imagine running to the grocery store every single time you needed an item? The time shutterstock_221314189you would lose and money you would waste on gas alone would be unreasonable. Not only would your time and money be wasted, but imagine how much of an impact it would have on your productivity. “What is less obvious to us, however, is the cognitive price we pay each time we drop everything and switch activities to satisfy a mental craving. Shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email while trying to read a report or craft a presentation, disrupts our concentration and saps our focus,” explains Dr. Ron Friedman.

Therefore, Dr. Friedman shares two tactics on how to approach this issue:

  • Change our environment to move temptation further away: shut down your email program or silence your phone. It’s a lot easier to stay on task when you’re not continuously fending off mental cravings.
  • Cluster similar activities together, keeping ramp-up time to a minimum. Instead of scattering phone calls, meetings, administrative work, and emails throughout your day, try grouping related tasks so that there are fewer transitions.

There are some professionals who constantly need to stay connected to their clients, coworkers and managers, but even they can make small changes to make a big impact on their production.

How do you plan on impacting your productivity?