Half the game of productivity and efficiency is the ability to focus on the job at hand. When we get distracted, it takes time for the mind to return to the previous task. Unfortunately, we can be our own worst enemy by creating self inflicted distractions. For example, if you are an Outlook user there is one distraction that is robbing your efficiency throughout the day and you may not even be aware of it. I am speaking of the new email desktop alert. This seemingly friendly window pops up in the bottom right corner of the screen, alerting you to an new message when Outlook is open. This happens even when you are working in another program. Like a Pavlovian dog, it tricks the mind into jumping to Outlook to view the new message even if it is not important, sabotaging your work flow.
Two years ago I realized that the desktop email alert was a subtle yet significant distraction to my workflow. So I shut it off and found it made a world of difference to my efficiency. So go ahead, shut yours off too. Visit this Office support page to learn how: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Turn-Desktop-Alerts-on-or-off-a83fe224-3109-4de0-a1ab-c33fd103a422