How to get one hour back out of your busy working schedule
The biggest helper in boosting working efficiency has also been the biggest time waster for some of us: E-Mail. It has been great to be connected to virtually the world – almost real time too. Information and pictures/ videos are shared with lightning speed and you can reach so many of your key people such that they can at least stay informed of what is happening. That is where the buck stops. For one, you are now almost expected to stay on top of your incoming mails and needs to answer in a timely fashion. Also, there are many people who will include you on the “To” or “CC” lines for more than was necessary. Finally, there is the time that you pick to check your mail.
I have to admit the following step took me a little to implement myself. I have forewarned our people at work that whenever I am only showing up in the CC line I may or may not answer and potentially not even look at the mail at all. If it was a low priority enough for me to be included in the CC line only, that equates to saying for your information only. Think about how much time this can save you already. It takes a while for you to implement depending on your company’s culture and what is expected of you.
The next time waster is when you check your mail. Most of us check first thing in the morning. Unless you have people to connect with in different time zones (different continents) then please do yourself a favor and reserve the early morning for doing the one or two tasks you wanted to get done for that day. Everyday interruptions will almost guaranteed derail your day enough that you will find yourself staring at your list of things to get done with no progress made. Push this out to 10 to 11 in the morning and then limit yourself to getting the most urgent items done. Hint: Do not open them just to close them marked as unread. Get them done right there. Any over processing costs your time and it takes so much effort to get back into the swing of things.
You will find that some tasks are not as urgent as proclaimed to be by some senders. Sort them out and ask for the real drop dead date or time for answering the mail. Be ready to be surprised how many tasks are negotiable or simply have gone away because the issue was not an issue at all or just not as urgent and was given to someone else.
Turn off your screen e-mail pop ups. Actually, turn off all dings, pop ups, and notifications. Each time that they go off you are being distracted and you are going to get all stressed out about it. Abandon this practice as best as you can.
Reclaim the power of e-mail with a little more structure. It will be uncomfortable at first, but you will all of a sudden have more time at your hands that you can use for more productive tasks. Have a great day!