Close Your Email — Right Now!

If you’ve read anything about productivity, the appeal in the title of this post will not be new. While this is something that I’ve known for years, it’s not something that I usually practiced. I’ve had my own computer for more than a decade and in that time, I’ve probably almost always had my email open — while at the same time, trying to get work done.

Of course, there would be times when I would be under some sort of deadline, so I’d close everything, but the report I was working on. Aside from those times, I’ve almost always had a tab open in my browser with my email. The ironic part is that when Google Chrome added extensions, I immediately picked up one of those extensions that would let me know when I had email with a chiming sound. Like Pavlov’s dog, I would immediately flip to my inbox.

I’ve read lots and lots about how to be productive. I know that being a slave to your inbox is not an effective way to get anything done (other than keeping our inbox empty, but that’s debatable).

Recently, I’ve had some trouble with the extension in Google Chrome that chimes  when I get a new email. As a result, I experimented with some other extensions, but none of them seemed to work as well as the one I had. I finally came to an extension that was by Google, so I thought that one would probably work really well and forever be compatible with Google Chrome. Before I go on, I should say that the extension I was using had worked for… well, as long as I can remember. So, the new extension. This new extension by Google doesn’t chime the way the old one did.

At first, this was kind of maddening because I was so used to hearing the chime and then going to my Inbox. Mind you, the extension still has a small indicator directly next to the address bar, so I could see if there was a new message or not.

Why am I telling you all this?

Well — because I’m converted.

I no longer have my email open. After 10+ years of having my inbox open all the time, I’ve realized (by accident?) just how much more effective and efficient it is to not have your Inbox open all the time. So, if you were a long-time hold out like me, I implore you — try it — test it out — you may like it!

Note: If you need another reason to close your Inbox… you should know that having Gmail open will slow down your computer — as it takes up quite a bit of RAM.

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