Work offline, get stuff done

We live in distracting times, where any task can easily get derailed.

We surf the net, recheck pages, answer emails, juggle cell phone calls…and then there is the real world.

Today, I believe our greatest productivity challenge comes from these distractions.

There’s one distraction you can get rid of: Incoming information.

When I need to work on a task, say writing this blog post or creating a marketing plan, I turn off incoming email (work offline) and close my web browsers. My phone is set to silent. When the task is over, I turn everything back on and retrieve my emails.

This process works.

Many of you say, “I don’t need to turn off the distractions, just ignore them.” But you can’t. The Yahoo home page is too tempting to refresh (stocks, scores, news). You cannot ignore that little envelope that says, “you’ve got mail.” You can’t let a ringing cell phone float into email. You can’t. That’s why you need to turn it all off.

Here’s a side benefit to sole-tasking: You decrease stress in your work life. In 2006, I co-authored a study with Heartmath that measured the relationship between being constantly interrupted and work place depression. It is an eye opener. Check out the study results to see if you have NEDS.
Study on New Economy Depression Syndrome

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8 Responses to “Work offline, get stuff done”

  1. Email Marketing Strategy » Blog Archive » Work offline, get stuff done | Email A to Z Says:

    [...] Another fellow blogger added an interesting post on Work offline, get stuff done | Email A to ZHere’s a small excerptWhen I need to work on a task, say writing this blog post or creating a marketing plan, I turn off incoming email (work offline) and close my web browsers. My phone is set to silent. When the task is over, I turn everything back on and … [...]

  2. Email Marketing Systems » Blog Archive » Work offline, get stuff done | Email A to Z Says:

    [...] Another fellow blogger put an intriguing blog post on Work offline, get stuff done | Email A to ZHere’s a quick excerptWhen I need to work on a task, say writing this blog post or creating a marketing plan, I turn off incoming email (work offline) and close my web browsers. My phone is set to silent. When the task is over, I turn everything back on and … [...]

  3. Piotr's blog » Using Thunderbird with Gmail — part 1 of 2 Says:

    [...] Thunderbird easily allows me to work in offline mode*. I like working offline, even if I’m able to access the internet — Tim Sanders wrote more about working offline here. [...]

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