I reached a mini-milestone today. A simple setting change with a long history:
Like many, I’d turned off new email notifications years ago. No annoying “You have mail!” pop-ups, no sudden sounds, no nagging envelope icon, no barely-perceptible mouse cursor changes, no tiresome fade-in text, no irritating iOS badges, nada.
I was managing email on my terms. Except I wasn’t… Using my inbox as a to-do list integral to my workflow meant that I was susceptible to distractions when going in and out of the mail app. Even though I was only checking to batch process new mail three times a day (morning, lunch, evening), www.rescuetime.com (free trial) revealed the truth of my app usage.
So I’m going to experiment with pulling emails manually only three times a day from now. Why not? We’ll see…
Update- 1st October:
Habit formed. This really works! With one adjustment:
Mac Mail users may also want to disable the nagging red count badge that lives in the doc via Mail Preferences:
Ever find it difficult to strip down what you have to say to the bare minimum? I do. My list of draft blog posts has swelled to around 50. I need to get better at getting them out the door. While they are fresh in my mind. Minimal polishing. Idea> open wordpress> tap the keyboard> hit Publish. Next.
The danger is that it takes time to refine down ideas:
I didn’t have time to write a short letter so i’ve written a long one instead. ~Mark Twain
So I’ve started using postcards to structure my thoughts (idea pinched from this Richard Kelly talk). The space limitation is a kind of old skool version of Twitter’s 140 characters and using a pen rather than keyboard feels good.