The Easiest Way To Get $#it Done

Posted by on Feb 7, 2011 in Life | 3 Comments

It’s VERY simple… wait for it… here it comes…

Close your email program.

Seriously. That’s it.

I’ve been doing this for the last week or so when I need to focus and just generally get, ahem, stuff done, and I swear my productivity has jumped about 800%.

If you have your email configured to automatically retrieve new mail every five minutes (like I do), email is a hyper-interruption machine. And it’s like a drug. I can’t help it… when I hear that mail *ding* sound I just HAVE to see what magic awaits in my inbox. Unfortunately, the tiny action of clicking over to the mail program pulls me out of whatever “flow” I was in and, as soon as I’ve deleted the LinkedIn Group notification I don’t care about, I have to spend WAY too much time getting back in the zone.

For me, on a typical day, the reality is that there is far more interruption than there is actual work being donewhen the mail program is open. So now, I close it when I’m working and just I open it every hour or two to clean out the inbox.

Besides, if anything is really that urgent, I figure people know how to find me (there’s only about 16 other ways to get my attention).

Technology is never the problem, only a symptom. We must manage our tech as a tool, just like anything else… or there is a real danger it will manage us.


P.S. Check out a post by my invisible mentor, Seth, who recently made a similar point about texting at work.


If you liked that post, then try these…

What The Heck Is RSS!? by Josh Allan Dykstra on January 27th, 2009

The Fourth Turning — Read This Book! by Josh Allan Dykstra on March 5th, 2012

The Good Simple by Josh Allan Dykstra on February 8th, 2010


  1. Tweets that mention The Easiest Way To Get $#it Done | Josh Allan Dykstra --
    February 7, 2011

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by RavenousReader, Josh Allan Dykstra. Josh Allan Dykstra said: A great, simple trick to get more done during the day. #work #productivity #email […]

  2. Michael Dvorscak
    February 13, 2011

    …..and here I was expecting a “Godinian Response” of “Just do it.”

  3. Josh Allan Dykstra
    February 13, 2011

    That’s a good one, too, Michael. Let’s add that to the list. ;-)


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