I realized this week that I’m like Pavlov’s dog. The New Mail bell rings, I see the number of unread messages in the Mail.app dock icon and I compulsively check my mail. I’m not sure, but I might have gotten hungry too.
I think this realization came from the book The Power of Less. He advocates checking your email twice a day. That’s not quite enough for me, but then again I realized I was sabotaging my productivity with the continuous Inbox checking.
A good compromise I think is to:
1. Turn off all sound notifications
2. Turn off all dock badges
3. Check your email on some other schedule that you control
I use Mail.app and SpamSieve. So here are screenshots of what your preferences for each should look so that all sound notifications and dock badges are turned off:
I hope this improves your productivity without shutting off the outside world of email. It has worked well for me the past few days.