Let’s face it. Every day, we are bombarded with emails, texts, phone calls, voicemails, newsletters, magazines, offers, coupons, and other communication that we didn’t expect to receive. It’s a constant fire hose of information, and without knowing it, we can spend hours sifting through useless crap on autopilot before realizing the sun is setting, and the day was largely wasted.
If you want to get things done, you have to ignore the fire hose for good periods of the day. But if it doesn’t stop spraying, you’ll wind up with a horrible backlog of stuff to sort through, like Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty.
So, don’t ignore the fire hose, turn it off!
- Start with unroll.me – It will help you unsubscribe to useless newsletters and bundle everything else into one elegant daily digest.
- Use filters in your email platform to route emails from certain senders past your inbox (especially in Gmail). This works great for email receipts and order confirmations. You just placed the order, you don’t need to review it immediately.
- Tell the co-worker or employee that emails you a dozen times a day to send one daily recap email instead. Have them start a draft in the morning, add to it all day, and call you if and only if something is urgent.
- Reduce frequency of social media alerts. Instant notifications are instant distractions! I like the weekly digest, when available.
- Set vacation reminders (even for a non-vacation day) when you really need to get things done. When someone receives one, they’ll think twice about emailing you again, and they won’t expect you to respond as quickly.
Last, find something fun to do with all that time you just saved.