Ron Friedman, author of  The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace recently wrote on Harvard Business Review how costly it is to continuously check emails.

Shifting our attention from one task to another, as we do when we’re monitoring email while trying to read a report or craft a presentation, disrupts our concentration and saps our focus. Each time we return to our initial task, we use up valuable cognitive resources reorienting ourselves.

For property managers and small hoteliers, this disruption is incremented with the multitude of email communication from different OTA’s and portals that insist on alerting you via email to read a message or request left by a user on their website!

Friedman highlights how;

Multitasking, as many studies have shown, is a myth. A more accurate account of what happens when we tell ourselves we’re multitasking is that we’re rapidly switching between activities, degrading our clarity and depleting our mental energy. And the consequences can be surprisingly serious . An experiment conducted at the University of London found that we lose as many as 10 IQ pointswhen we allow our work to be interrupted by seemingly benign distractions like emails and text messages.

How do we solve this?

  • Stop checking your email every couple of minutes and set your smartphone to fetch email every hour
  • Set automatic replies for emails that can wait
  • Define specific times of the day when you are checking email, and stick to it

Although these suggestions may sound difficult, if not absurd, do try them for a few days and you will soon realise that nothing happens if you do not reply to your emails within 10 seconds.

Just remember that;

[…] multitasking is enjoyable. It’s fun to indulge your curiosity. Who knows what that next email, tweet or text message holds in store? Finding out provides immediate gratification. In contrast, resisting distraction and staying on-task requires discipline and mental effort.