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…

Why I Disappeared For A Few Weeks by Josh Allan Dykstra on August 22nd, 2013

How Good Things Get Made by Josh Allan Dykstra on November 10th, 2010

Reality & TV by Josh Allan Dykstra on July 14th, 2005


  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. ;-)


Leave a Reply