Are you prone to checking your email constantly? Do you keep it up in a browser tab to get instant updates or have it running in the background to give you notifications? The problem that everyone faces with checking their email constantly is that it divides a person’s attention. It can cost you up to 15 minutes of time to switch back and forth between tasks, which can be as simple as working on your project and then checking your email.
Only 2% of people can actually multitask effectively. For everyone else, something as simple as email could be costing you hours of time and exhausting your mental energy prematurely. How can you stop this from happening? It begins with your ability to just shut your email down. Check it when you’re done with a task, not while completing a task, to maximize your time usage.
Work on Your Willpower
If you can resist the temptation to manage your time on your own, then you can stop costing yourself mental energy. The problem, however, is that checking email can become an addiction. Put someone who loves cupcakes into a shop that sells gourmet cupcakes and then tell them that they can’t have any of them. It can work, but it generally isn’t very effective.
Put Your Tasks Together
Instead of creating separated tasks that force you to shift your perspective, take time to focus on similar tasks in clusters. If you need to work on outside communication, then keep your administrative work together and work on it at a specific time. When you’ve completed the work or run out of your allotted time, then shut it down and go to the next task.
Limit Your Disruptions
Doing multiple tasks at the same time is a requirement of many jobs. Unless you fit into the 2% of people who can manage multiple tasks without degrading their mental energy, you need to be smart about what you can accomplish. The more dissimilar the tasks you’re attempting to juggle are, then it is more likely you will also pay a heavy penalty of mental energy to switch your focus.
Schedule Your Times
If you find that you’re addicted to your email, then schedule the times when you can feed that addiction. Set three or four predetermined times during the day that you check your email or respond to specific issues that are within those messages. You’ll feel mentally satisfied by being able to check on your account and you will limit the energy penalties that you’ll pay in the long-term process of the day as well.
Limit Any Disruptions That Occur
Your energy bank is a daily limited supply, no matter how much coffee you might choose to drink. Any distraction will eliminate a portion of this energy. This means any limitations on the distractions that you face will help keep your mental fuel tank from becoming empty prematurely. Don’t discount any distraction! Every little change counts and a lot of little changes can make a big difference in your day.
Checking your email isn’t a bad thing. Checking your email constantly because you’re feeding the need for a distraction will stop you from working effectively. Practice these ideas and you’ll soon start feeling a lot more energy when your day comes to a close.