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April 24, 2013

Digital Catnip

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Digital catnip is what we describe certain devices, software programs, or pop-ups that constantly distract us from being productive and impact our personal productivity. The biggest culprit of all is MS Outlook.  The behavior of the software when a new message arrives is annoying. A noise and a pop-up happens and our normal reaction is to stop what-ever we are doing and look at the email and most likely reply to it forgetting about what we were working on in the first place. We can turn this annoying feature off in under a minute. Here is how:

1. Open MS Outlook.
2. Click the File menu and Choose Options.
3. Click Mail, then scroll down to the “When new messages arrive” section.
4. Un-check Play a sound.
5. Un-check Briefly change the mouse pointer.
6. Un-check Show an envelope icon in the taskbar.
7. Un-check Display a Desktop Alert.

Our advice is to simply turn everything off. Turn off your mobile phone or tablet (any digital device), close out of any social media sites such as Facebook that makes noise whenever a notification occurs, and close your office door. Overall, keys to productivity are to plan, organize, manage time, and focus. Now go knock out 2 or 3 of your to-do list items!

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