For many of us, our day at the office starts the same each day. We greet our coworkers, grab our first cup of coffee, sit down at our desk, and log in to our computer. Next, it begins:  A constant flow of interruptions streaming from our Inbox. Sounds, pop-ups, and color changing icons, often arriving simultaneously on each of our devices, decimating concentration and demanding our immediate attention.

According to a study on email statistics by The Radicati Group, over 100 billion business emails are sent and received each day. That’s a lot of email interruption! What’s more, Gloria Mark, associate professor at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, estimates that it takes about three minutes on average to regain focus after a task shift, such as responding to an alert, occurs. Wow! That means just 4 email interruptions could erode productivity by as much as 20% of every hour of our day!

So what is the solution? For many, the answer lies in batch processing; setting clearly defined time frames for addressing emails. Turn off the alerts or close the program while you work. Then, schedule blocks of time for email just as you do your other tasks and projects. By spending just 20-30 focused minutes, two to three times per day, your overall productivity could increase by as much as 40%.  Additionally, by scheduling these email sessions in the morning and afternoon you will be able to schedule other work triggered by the emails, reply, and have that response acknowledged during the same business day.

Give it a try!