Hidden Pages

Email tip #2 - How to manage email interruptions 


Good news!  

Do you find it difficult to ‘get things done’ when you’re constantly interrupted by new, incoming e-mail? 

Research shows that it takes over a minute to regain your concentration after an e-mail interruption (in addition to however long it takes you to handle the interruption itself). It also shows that 40% of the time, we won’t return to that interrupted task again for that day! Most of us check email 10 times more often than we think but checking your inbox 3 or 4 times a day is more than enough for most people. The way to manage these interruptions is to simply turn off all the e-mail alerts.  

Here’s how to turn off e-mail alerts in Outlook 2003/2007 (for 2010 & 2013, see further below); 

  1. Select Tools and then Options from the menu bar at top of screen
  2. Under the E-mail section of the Preferences tab, click the E-mail Options button
  3. Under the Message handling section, click the Advanced E-mail Options button
  4. In the When new items arrive in my Inbox section, uncheck all four of these options;

- Play a sound
Briefly change the mouse cursor
Show an envelope icon in the notification area
Display a New Mail Desktop Alert (default Inbox only)

      5. Click OK, then OK and then OK again 


Here's how to turn off e-mail alerts in Outlook 2010;

1. Select File (in top left hand corner of screen) and then from the drop down menu select Options

2. In the new window which appears, select Mail from the list down left hand side

3. Under the Message arrival are, beneath the text 'When a new message arrives', uncheck the 4 boxes;

play a sound
briefly change the mouse cursor
show an envelope icon in the taskbar
display a desktop alert

4. Click OK to finish

Congratulations! You’re now on your way to a more focused, more productive and less interrupted, less stressful workday.

 P.S. You can also watch this 30 second video showing you how to do this – turn off Outlook email alerts  

All the best!

Steuart Snooks