Monthly Archives: September 2010

Pavlov’s Inbox

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:

Mail.app

Mail.app - no notifications or dock badge

SpamSieve

SpamSieve - no notifications or dock badge

I hope this improves your productivity without shutting off the outside world of email.  It has worked well for me the past few days.