Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Stepping off one trail, the email trail

As a result of reading a blog (danged if I can remember whose!--or maybe it was a facebook post) advocating writing for 45 minutes before visiting emails in the morning, I modified this and formulated my own plan.

I can’t really write for 45 minutes in the morning, because I can’t write in the morning. I’m so not a morning person. I can get through emails and pay bills and do laundry and run some errands, but can’t write before lunch. So, in my modified plan, when it’s time for me to write--usually around 1:00 or 2:00 PM, I’ve started turning off my email notify and closing my browser window.

I can open it for research, but not for emails. And this does NOT work if I don’t turn off the notify. It’s hard to turn back on, too. I don’t know where the program is--yeah, I know I could find it if I dug for it--so the way I get it back on is to log off my profile and log back one. Which I don’t like to do because it means I have to close all my programs and windows that I like to keep open.

So the notify has been off for a couple days now. I think it’s rather relaxing.

I remember, in my interview of David Wisehart, his secrets to success were coffee and not watching TV. Now I’m wondering if other people have other productivity tricks up their sleeves. Would love to hear them!

(photo by author)


  1. I have an email notice which sounds like a door bell on my work computer. Every time it dings, I check my email -- I sort of feel like Pavlov's dog! But it is work, so I get through it ... but I do like the idea of turning it off or maybe changing the sound ... a bird call?

  2. Yes, a bird would be nice! I wonder what sounds are available. Maybe I'll check that out. I'm sure I just use the standard one.

  3. Hi Kaye,
    I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who can't write before lunch. So I use the mornings to catch up on emails, too. I have to admit, though, that checking email during afternoon writing time is a great way to procrastinate! I'll have to try your systm.

  4. I know, Betsy! I've been successful for one whole day now. I sure wonder what's going on that I can't see, though.

  5. I've had ridiculous success by unplugging the laptop and moving it to a place in the house that doesn't get an internet connection. And by ridiculous, I mean, several thousand words in one day! Now, if only I could figure out how to write without pretzels...

  6. I'm just about to post a follow-up to this, Diane. All suggestions welcome--thanks!

  7. Kaye,
    I don't use email notify at all. I check my emails at the same time I check my snail-mail. Since mail doesn't run on Sunday, I take the day off. If I'm expecting something, I'll check when I have my morning coffee or at night before I go to bed. Works for me!

  8. Cheri, you're a much wiser woman than I! I do sometimes take a day off, but I find it hard. I'm so afraid I'll miss something.