Monday morning: Pause email.

Monday mornings can be unpleasant for a variety of reasons. I quickly become overwhelmed with email. Not only do I have to tackle anything I received since I left the office on Friday, I also receive email responses from people who are responding to any email they received since they left the office.

There are a few ways to stop the onslaught associated with Monday mornings. Or at least pause it for a little while.

If you receive your email through Google’s gmail, you can place a “pause” on incoming mail. To do so, download a Chrome app from inboxpause.com, and a blue “pause” button will be available for you to pause or unpause according to your workflow. If you have your inbox pauses, you can still send and reply to email.

I’m not aware of a “pause” option for Outlook users, but you can remove the new mail notifications which can really derail your concentration. Here’s how to do so if you use Outlook for Windows:

  • From the Tools menu, click ‘Options’
  • On the Preferences tab, click ‘E-mail Options’, and then click ‘Advanced E-mail Options’
  • Under ‘When new items arrive in my Inbox’, uncheck the ‘Display a New Mail Desktop Alert’ check box

And if you use Outlook for Mac:

  • From the Outlook menu, click ‘Preferences’
  • Select ‘Notifications & Sounds’
  • Under ‘Message arrival’, uncheck ‘Display an alert on my desktop’ and ‘Bounce Outlook icon in Dock’
  • Under ‘Sounds’, uncheck ‘New message’

Instead of reading email as it arrives, set a couple of times during the day to check your inbox for items that require action. When you feel you’re caught up, you can reinstate the alerts. But only if you really want to.

Beth Golay

Beth is a reader, writer, marketer and Books & Whatnot founder. Even though she knows better, she’s a sucker for a good book cover and will positively swoon if a book is set in appropriate type.

@BethGolay