Need a reason to turn off that “you’ve got mail” tab, ghost box or other notification?

Every time it pops up, it takes an average of 64 seconds to regain your train of thought.

Via the Sydney Morning Herald:

It had been assumed that email doesn’t cause interruptions because the recipient chooses when to check for and respond to email ( But Dr Jackson found that people tend to respond to email as it arrives, taking an average of only one minute and 44 seconds to act upon a new email notification; 70% of alerts got a reaction within six seconds. That’s faster than letting the phone ring three times.

I’d add up the consequences of that 64 seconds of downtime by multiplying my daily email interruptions by 30 (days in a month), but frankly, I’d rather not know.

In truth, after years of doing things the same way – mostly because that’s the way I’d been doing them – I’ve been looking hard at alternatives.

Moving from Windows Vista to Linux is one result (I get more done).

Now – as I support a pair of ongoing online engagement marketing projects, and write more online copy than ever – I find I’m using my “main” word processor (OpenOffice) less than half the time, and taking advantage of the project management/html/speed features of a Linux programming editor (Bluefish).

It surprised me too.

I tell my students marketing’s changed more in the last five years than it did in the prior 50; I’m starting to see the same trend in my own work habits.

Is the same true for you?

Keep writing, Tom Chandler.

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