Switch off your inbox to get things done & increase productivity

Imagine getting five important tasks done every day, instead of just your usual four! Well, you can achieve this incredible increase in productivity by taking just one simple step — switch off your message-reminders!

You can get into your flow and increase your productivity with 17% by removing distractions such as new inbox alerts on your PC and flashing cellphone message reminders, researchers at the University of Kent found.

Ulrich Weger, a senior lecturer in psychology at Kent, who lead the research, found that participants in his study experienced an an increase in the time needed to read a passage of text with each interruption.

The  eyeball movement tracking cameras used in the research showed that participants had to reread a substantial portion of text before reaching the point where they left the task to attend to the interruption.

However, when participants marked the point in the text where they were interrupted, they could cut down the lost time from 17% to 10%.

The Gaurdian reports that Weger was motivated to do the research by his own experience.

He said: “I noticed how easily I was distracted when working on my computer… I wasted time by reading emails whenever they came into my inbox. I noticed that once I had started reading the name of the sender I read the first line of the text. Once I mastered that, I continued reading the entire message and once I got to that point I felt compelled to respond because there was no point in leaving an already half-finished task. Then sometimes I needed extra information to answer the message, so had to add other tasks…  (I) often wasn’t making any progress with what I was originally working on and in the end, felt quite breathless and exhausted… I thought I couldn’t be the only person struggling with this.”

Take the simple step of switching off your auto-reminders for messages, then concentrate on your task at hand, so that you can attend to your waiting messages when the task is done.

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