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E-mail overload? Three ways to tame your in box.

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If the average person takes four minutes to get back to work after an interruption, 15 e-mail notifications can waste an hour. Turn them off.

Illustration by Jake Turcotte / The Christian Science Monitor

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2. Turn off the buzzes, beeps, and dings

Have you ever stopped in the middle of something just because your iPad, smartphone, or BlackBerry signaled the arrival of a new e-mail or text? Research has shown that the average person takes about four minutes to “recover” from any interruption and get back to what they were working on. With just 15 interruptions a day, that’s an hour of lost time. Instead of letting your in box tell you when to move, turn off the distracting notifications and check it on your own terms.

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