A sales agent was complaining about email the other day. So what’s new, right? What was new was what he was complaining about – Outlook was distracting him. When I suggested the obvious – shut it down – he said it wouldn’t work since he needed to refer to it for appointments, calls, etc… If only he could get rid of those alerts floating on the screen every 5 minutes…
I understand completely. In fact, you’ll find that business bloggers and consultants universally recommend reducing interruptions – like email – in order to work more effectively. Plus, it turns out that multi-tasking isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Good news is that you can tame Outlook fairly easily. Download this 2 page guide (suitable for up to Outlook 2007) and learn how to turn off those annoying floating notifications, sounds…even that little envelope that shows up in the system tray when mail arrives.
And also learn how to adjust (or turn off) automatic send/receive. I highly recommend that you don’t select the “Send Immediately when Connected” – or “Automatic Send/Receive” when exiting. Gives you some time to think about that email before sending it. As for automatic send/receive when you’ve got Outlook open, 30 – 60 minutes is plenty especially since you can always hit the send/receive button whenever you want.