Does Checking Email Cause You to Lose Focus?

Posted March 27, 2017 | Laura Christianson

Repeat after me: Today, I vow to shut down my email while I’m working on a project that will grow my business.

“One look at an email can rob you of 15 minutes of focus.” |

I repeat this mantra to myself daily (sometimes multiple times per day) because I am an obsessive email checker.

For our clients and my team, email is the fastest, most convenient method to communicate. We’ve tried several systems that are supposed to make life easier, but none of us has bought into them yet.

So, I usually have my email open. When those “you’ve got mail” notifications pop up on my screen, I eagerly abandon my task to see who contacted me (more often than not, it’s one of those spammy offshore companies that try to sell SEO services or tell me I need a responsive website… which I’ve had for several years).

I’m in the final stages of getting my online course ready to launch, and my six-page to-do list requires a LOT of time and intense focus.

I’ve been shutting down my email to prevent myself from getting distracted, and it really helps my focus.

So, if you email me and I don’t respond for 24ish hours, you’ll know why.

My blogging will also be somewhat sporadic for the next few weeks. Friday afternoon, six clients handed me six unexpected projects. I’m tackling those, and in my “spare” time, I’m:

  1. Building the website that will house the online course, “Your Website Budget Blueprint.”
  2. Working on the sales page to promote the course. (Why didn’t someone warn me that writing sales page copy is the absolute MOST CHALLENGING and time-consuming part of planning an online course?)
  3. Creating the slide deck for the webinar that will promote the course.
  4. Recording informational and “welcome” videos for the course.
  5. Crafting blog posts around the topic of the course. (Stay tuned for those.)
  6. Writing the e-mail sequence to “sell” the course.

I have become a writing machine!

Here’s my question for you:

What “interruption” most distracts you during your workday? What do you do (or have good intentions to do) to minimize that distraction?

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2 responses to “Does Checking Email Cause You to Lose Focus?”

  1. Riaz Shah says:

    OMG this is so relatable to me! I check my emails whenever they pop up and I haven’t even finished writing an article for 2 weeks because of it. Pretty hard to manage though because both are important

  2. Riaz, It’s nice to know I’m not alone in this battle. Soon after I published that article, I began using, which consolidates many of the e-newsletters, sales promos, and blog posts I subscribe to into one daily digest. It takes some getting used to, but I estimate it’s saving me 30-60 minutes per day.

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