Smart? Driven? In the prime of life? Multi-tasking should be no problem, right? Maybe not. It’s increasingly looking like no one is particularly good at bouncing back and forth between tasks.
In the 2010 Frontline documentary “Digital Nation,” a Stanford University professor describes the effects of constant multitasking on his students’ work: good paragraphs, lousy papers. “What we’re seeing is less of a notion of a big idea carried through and much more little bursts and snippets,” he said.
Nothing poses a bigger threat to workday concentration than e-mail. Just when you’re getting up to speed on one message, another pops into your inbox, pulling you away and breaking your concentration. Ignoring incoming e-mail is easier said than done. But it’s not impossible, especially if you have the right tools.
Postbox includes a number of features designed to let users focus on one task at a time. We start with a very smart inbox.
We found that while users love a unified inbox (where mail from different accounts flows into a single inbox), mixing work-related and personal messages in the same box often creates an irresistible distraction. Postbox gives you the option of customizing your unified inbox into Account Groups.
With Account Groups, you can organize your accounts into groups to create custom unified views. For example, you can create groups for personal accounts and work accounts and then unify your message views by those account groups. That lets you focus on work (or play) without unrelated messages appearing. Learn more about Account Groups.
If your life’s really complicated, you can break your inbox down even further, either with additional Account Groups or with another filter function: the Focus Pane. More on that one tomorrow.
Posted by Sherman Dickman