Online tools that let users know when there is activity on social networks or e-mail can hamper productivity, Darrell Etherington write, citing a study from the University of Cardiff. But their suggested cure — auditory alerts — sounds worse than the original disease to me. A sound would be far more disruptive.
Instead, I make it a point to disable programs with alert, and set aside specific time to check on Twitter and other social media networks. Changing my e-mail settings to only update every 30 minutes gave me a tremendous boost in productivity.
How about you? How do you balance the need to stay connected with the imperative to stay on task?