View Full Version : Managing Distraction: How and Why to Ignore Your Inbox

04-20-12, 09:14 AM
Posted on behalf of Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative journalist, author, writing consultant and former foreign correspondent.

Click to view the "Should I Check Email?" Infographic

The problem confronts you each morning, like a squalling baby that must be fed NOW. It’s your email inbox, loaded with capital letters and exclamation marks and missives marked “URGENT.” Unlike with that baby, however, you’ll need to ignore even some of the most hysterically worded if you want to stay gainfully employed.

I’ve been paying particular attention to just these sorts of distractions for the past seven years, ever since my son, then nine, was diagnosed with ADHD. Like millions of other modern parents, I realized I shared his symptoms – a discovery that prompted me to study this increasingly common disorder for my book, “Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention.” I’ve come to believe that those of us diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder are today’s coal mine canaries – just a bit farther down the interruption interstate everyone else is traveling.

Today’s relentless email flood could steer you away from high-value work and even out of work entirely if you don’t learn defensive strategies. That sounds obvious until you hear that a British study found that half of all information workers respond to an e-mail within 60 minutes of receipt. That’s no strategy at all, unless you consider crossing items off your colleagues’ To Do lists to be your highest priority. Taking that approach is so literally mind-numbing that the study further concluded that overdoing email can be as detrimental to your IQ as smoking weed.

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05-08-12, 02:49 PM
the only thing that has worked for me is increasing you level of focus.

05-10-12, 07:21 PM
the only thing that has worked for me is increasing you level of focus.

08-18-12, 11:13 AM
i know i need to focus, i have a hard time with it in many areas of my life, but i can also hyperfocus on certain things.

however, my problem isn't that i keep getting distracted BY emails and twitter and facebook, is that i keep getting distracted FROM emails, twitter, and facebook

facebook? yeah i gave up a loooong time ago, i disappeared and never returned. no nothing happened except i discovered twitter.

Twitter? ok i still like it but its been weeks, gah i really need to check later. then later turns into another week. i won't be surprised when people start unfollowing me :\ but thankfully they haven't yet.

emails? just one thing. who has 1,000 plus emails due to practically never checking it? i do.

however i do realize that this can be a problem for many people, and many feel they need to constantly check their emails, twitter or facebook. i would say just have a schedule on when to check these things and try to stick with it. actually i find making a schedule for everything i need to do helps me stay on track, when i can stay on track with making the schedule that is lol.

yeah this is just my two cents, hope it helps though. just wanted to share what my personal experience with this is, its a bit different from most people though.