The quest to becoming ridiculously efficient involves navigating tough obstacles like online alerts; to boost your productivity, disable the following digital notifications entirely. While it might initially feel weird not seeing some of these alerts, you'll be amazed at how soon you adjust -- and how much more relaxing your digital workspace is without the distraction.
- Audible and visual email alerts. Disable audible notifications for your email client of choice, and to kick things up a notch, hide your unread email counts. In Gmail, you'll find this feature in the Labs section; in Apple Mail, it's in the General pane of the Preferences window.
- Emails from social media sites. You don't need an email each time someone follows you or posts on your wall -- force yourself to visit sites like Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest once or twice a day as opposed to being tempted to check them all day long. Visit each site and uncheck all the email-related options.
- Desktop notifications. Two apps notorious for their alerts are Growl and Outlook. Read how to turn these notifications off here and here, respectively.
- Push notifications on your smartphone. Disable push notifications for email, social media apps and other distractions on your iPhone or other smartphone. You won't miss these, I promise.
- Audible and visual alerts for chat applications. You may need a chat application like Skype, AIM or Google Chat open during your workday. Disable bouncing application icons, visual pings and other cues that will disrupt your concentration.
What other notifications have you cut out to boost your efficiency at work?