Our personal productivity depends mainly on our capacity to concentrate and on how we manage our attention. Among all the interruptions we come across every day, notifications are the ones that we can best manage to stop them from wasting our time.

There is a new message in your inbox

Think it through. If you keep track of all the interruptions that affect your productivity at work, you’ll notice that a big part is created by notifications. New emails, phone calls, chats, Whatsapp… and an endless list of distractions that, despite not being really important, have a big impact on our concentration.

Emails are the most distracting thing. We feel the need to constantly check our inbox every five minutes. Whenever we see there is a new message, we immediately need to know what it is about as if the world would stop spinning if we didn’t reply. Take it easy, you probably won’t be the one to save the world, and if you were to be that one person, email wouldn’t be the means to contact you. Everything else can wait.

It’s not only about all the stress that comes from being constantly checking all the notifications. These interruptions waste a lot of our time. We force our brain to disconnect from what it was doing in order to focus on another task and then resume what we were previously doing. It’s not only a waste of time but also of mental resources.

So, what do I need to do to avoid interruptions?

You have two options. First, you can ignore them and pretend they don’t exist. But truth be told, it’s very difficult to do so when there are blinking lights, sounds and all kinds of messages that try to desperately draw your attention to them.

So, if you are just like the rest of the mortals who are not able to ignore those calls, the best you can do is try to reduce them to a minimum. Turn off your notifications in order to avoid interruptions that reduce your productivityEstablish a difference between what’s urgent and what’s important and get rid of any notice that is not really indispensable.

Save some time every day to check your emails and answer all of them during that time. Since you’ll be focused on just one task, you will not only save time but also improve your efficiency.

Once you have done this, you only need Kiply’s weekly report to see how the amount of time you waste on interruptions gradually decreases.

Translation Pablo Velázquez

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