One. Review

Before you leave work, or from your desk at home as you wrap things up for the day (or night!), Take five minutes to review your time at work.

First write down what you accomplished in a quick, bulleted list. Next write what you didn't accomplish that you had hoped to, and what stopped you.

Do not beat yourself up for any failures or things uncompleted. Instead simply notice, if you can, what caused you to get off track. Do notice how much you did accomplish.


This type of review is a way to help your brain focus on the positive (I did accomplish something today) and will help you to become more aware of the things that tend to derail you or distract you from productive work.

Two. Remove distractions

Turn off all notifications for at least one long block of work time every day.

Our brains are not adept at switching from one task to another. The single ding of an email notification or text, even if it's about something completely unimportant, can cause you to lose up to 40 per cent of your work time.

Is it really worth it?

Maybe if you have infinite time at your disposal... But we all know that you don't. So do yourself and your career a favour, and silence all the dings and chirps for at least one long block of time (2 - 4 hours).

If your Outlook still has a tools menu click Options >Preferences Tab >Click Email Options>Advanced Email Options. Under when new items arrive in my Inbox clear the Display a New Mail Desktop Alert (default Inbox only) check box.,

If your Outlook has a ribbon, it's File>Mail>Message Arrival. Unselect Play a sound; unselect Display a desktop alert.


Alternatively - you can of course close Outlook.