Handling Your Email

emailHave a clear process for handling your email.

Let’s face it – we are all drowning in email.

We’ve gone from spending an average of 15 hours a week (in 2006) on the inbox to receiving in excess of 250 pages a day (in 2012), and it isn’t going to stop anytime soon!

What’s missing is a process for dealing with what comes in.

Here’s a hint – use your inbox to SORT rather than STORE. That way, you can identify and move each piece to the next stage very quickly, grouping like items with like.

By sorting, you can move through everything in the inbox in relatively short periods of time. Where you will lose time is in trying to mix the tasks. Sort first. Then respond to what needs to be responded to. Then work on what needs to be worked on, etc.

 

 

© Terry Monaghan, 2013 ~ All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

 

Unsubscribe

clutterUnsubscribe from newsletters you no longer read.

It is dreadfully easy to find yourself on 10-50-100 newsletter lists.

If they all publish once a week, that’s an extra 10-50-100 emails each week (520 – 2600 – 5200 each year).

Let’s face it, none of them is important enough to interrupt your job on a daily basis.

It’s a good practice to re-evaluate the newsletters and ezines you are receiving. Tell the truth – are you reading it? Are you interested in the topic? Are you feeling guilty for NOT reading it?

Unsubscribe from those you don’t read or are not interested in.

Also unsubscribe from those you didn’t subscribe to in the first place!

Clear out the clutter. Free up the space and energy for something more important.

 

© Terry Monaghan, 2013 ~ All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

Email Rules

email walkingThere is this amazing function in most email programs that allows you to set up rules for how your incoming (and sometimes outgoing) email is handled.

You can tell the system to automatically move certain messages into certain folders as soon as it arrives.

For example, all email where you are cc’d can move into a separate folder. Or, email from certain senders (newsletters, for example) can move into a specific folder.

This works well for email you don’t need to see as soon as it arrives. Let’s say you serve on a volunteer board, for example. Emails for board business don’t need to interrupt your normal work day – they could be sorted into a folder to be dealt with at specific times.

Try it out!  Many of the systems also let you run the rule on your inbox to move anything that is already there into another folder.

This will leave you with less in the inbox, and hopefully more time to work.

 

 

© Terry Monaghan, 2013 ~ All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

Managing interruptions – phone and email

By default, we are getting interrupted at least once every 6-8 minutes all day long.

And, it takes 10-15 minutes to bringat desk your focus back to what you were doing when you were interrupted.

That math just doesn’t work. Think about it.

You will be interrupted, and you will most likely keep getting interrupted before you can get back to what you were doing (if you even remember what it was).

Do you really need to see that pop-up every time you get an incoming email? Do you really need to hear that beep every time something lands in your inbox.

Is that more important than what you are working on now?

Give yourself a break. Shut it off while you are trying to concentrate.

You will not be able to eliminate every interruption, but you can control some of them. Do that.

© Terry Monaghan, 2013 ~ All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

Stop Pushing Email to Your Phone

It used to be that only doctors or emergency responders were set up with pagers that they needed to respond to immediately. And for doctors, that was only when they were on call.

What happened?

When did we all get so important that we needed to be on call 24 smart phonehours a day, 365 days a year?

Your email inbox is a perfectly organized collection of everyone else’s agenda. (See tip #1.) When did you decide that was more important than working on your own goals?

I get it – there are some people you need to respond to with alacrity, and some situations that require your immediate attention. But that most likely only accounts for about 20% at most of what is coming in.

If you are going to use email on your smart phone, at least set it up to be pulled into the inbox at your convenience, rather than having each and every message pushed through as it happens.

That way, you can skim what has come in to determine if anything is urgent at your convenience.

You can also use tools like AwayFind to have specific people or topics pushed through.

© Terry Monaghan, 2013 ~ All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

The #1 tip to deal with your email

by Terry Monaghan

Deal with email in batches, 2-3 times a day.

Let’s face it. Email will suck up all the time (and more) you have in a day if you don’t do something about it.

You really do NOT have to jump on every single incoming piece of email as soon as it lands in your inbox.

Don’t you have actual work to do?

So, set up some times you will review everything that has come in. Let people who need to know how you will be handling it.

Then shut it off and focus on your own agenda of tasks.

It has been said that the email inbox is a perfectly organized collection of every body else’s agenda.

How about putting your job first?

 

© Terry Monaghan, 2012 ~ All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

101 things you can do (or stop doing) to get more time [part 4]

by Terry Monaghan, August 1, 2012

Are you ready for the next batch? Have you tried any of the first 75 tips I gave you in part 1, part 2 or part 3?

If you still don’t think it’s important to get control of your time, you might want to read The High Cost of Distraction.

Hang on to your hat… Here’s the final batch of tips (for now).

  1. Put your bills on automatic payments
  2. Exercise – regularly move your body
  3. Hire someone to do your bookkeeping
  4. Have a lawyer review your contracts
  5. Get your will done!
  6. Get your advanced medical directive done
  7. Get a durable power of attorney done
  8. Get rid of (give away / donate) what you don’t use or don’t need
  9. Send that pile of mending to the tailor
  10. Checklists are your friend
  11. Use a packing list when traveling
  12. Make up a duplicate toiletries kit, and leave it in your suitcase
  13. Take a short break every hour
  14. Focus on one thing at a time
  15. Set a timer
  16. Give up being a perfectionist
  17. De-clutter your office
  18. Don’t print that if you don’t really need a hard copy!
  19. Keep an extra printer cartridge and an extra ream of paper
  20. Build a favorite items list at your online office supply site, and use it
  21. Do your single most important task first each day
  22. Facebook will wait
  23. Voicemail is there for a reason, use it when calling out
  24. Let your incoming calls go to voicemail, too
  25. Be careful how often you play phone tag
  26. Take notes on client calls

 

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

The high cost of distraction

by Terry Monaghan, July 24, 2012

At a conference earlier this month, I heard some staggering stats about the high cost of distraction.

Here’s how it was presented.

The average American watches about 4 hours of television a day. Assuming that person makes just $20 per hour, over the course of his/her working life that will add up to $1 million in lost earnings and another $1 million in lost interest.

What does watching television have to do with business? Well, how often do you get interrupted during your day? How much time are you distracted from your job? What about your team? Your employees?

Hint: email alone can suck up nearly half your workday.

Statistically, we are being interrupted about once every 6-8 minutes all day long (and it can take 10-15 minutes to refocus, each and every time).

So, from the point of view of the business owner – that would be $1 million paid in wages but not received in work product from the employee. Multiply that across the organization, and the true cost of distraction is (as I said above) staggering!

And how would we calculate the lost revenue to the business?

Is that enough of an incentive to start dealing proactively with the interruptions?

 

(c) Terry Monaghan, 2012, All Rights Reserved

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:

Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

6 reasons your email is driving you crazy…

Why is email so crazy? And what can we do?
Have you ever wondered why it feels like email is running your life, interrupting everything you do, and ruining your day?

Well, here are six reasons your email is driving you crazy:

  • You deal with people who think email is the same as instant messaging. You know the type – they send an email, and then send four additional emails in a hour wondering why you haven’t responded to the first one.
  • You deal with people who don’t know the difference between hitting reply and hitting reply all. So you get everyone’s responses to someone else’s question.
  • You have your computer or phone set to allow email to push through to you on a regular basis. So you are interrupted by every popup, beep, buzz signaling an incoming message.
  • You have 15,000 emails in your inbox and 5000 are marked unread. And you really think you are going to do something with them!
  • You subscribe to various newsletters or industry reports, which you really want to read, but you don’t have a sorting rule to divert them into their own folder. So, they are cluttering up your inbox, mixed in with action items and all the other messages.
  • You are unwilling to delete messages once you are done with them, because you might need to refer back to them later.

All of this adds up to an overwhelming amount of email – 80% of which is not important to your daily work (really). I read recently that the average business person is receiving the equivalent of a 250 page book in email every single day. Yikes!

But it is not hopeless. This is something you actually can control!

All you need is a simple process for your email, and then, of course – you need to follow it…

(c) 2011, Terry Monaghan

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, an ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.

10 reasons we don’t get anything done…

Why don’t we get anything done?

Have you ever wondered why it feels like you are running through your day as fast as you possibly can, yet at the end of the day you can’t say what (if anything) actually got done?

Yes, me too. I know I was busy, but what was taking up all my time?

Here are 10 reasons why we don’t get anything done:

We are addicted to our email. We let our incoming email interrupt whatever we are doing, as if what is coming is in more important than what we are working on right now.

We can’t turn off our phone (land line or cell). We will answer every single incoming call (or at least look to see who is calling) as if we have nothing else to do.

We can’t find what we are looking for. Our desk/briefcase/car is awash with papers, files, supplies, and other stuff, and we spend way too much time shifting, sifting and shuffling.

We have an open door policy – and people take advantage of it. Colleagues and co-workers stop by the door and interrupt us with ‘just one quick question’ or some non work related gossip.

The next thing we need to do on this project can’t be done because we don’t have that piece we need from the other department because the person who was supposed to work on it was on vacation/out sick/busy and we didn’t know that.

We aren’t sure what we are supposed to do next, and instead of asking anyone, we dive into some piece of the project, and only discover later that that part was already completed by someone else.

We go online to research a topic and get distracted by chasing various links down many different rabbit holes. Three hours later we still don’t have what we went to find in the first place.

We are working without deadlines, so either everything has a deadline of NOW or nothing is urgent until we have heard from 3 people looking for our input.

We spend our time in meeting after meeting after meeting, all designed to provide status updates, but no one has any time to do any of the work because they are spending all their time updating the status.

And then we wonder why we are so busy but don’t get anything done!

When will we stop? Just wondering…

(c) 2011, Terry Monaghan

Want to use this article in your ezine or website? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it:
Consultant, coach, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur, Terry Monaghan, publishes Now What, a weekly ezine for entrepreneurs and professionals who want to double their productivity, improve their performance, and have a life! If you’re ready to jump start your performance and your results, then get your free tips now at www.TimeTriage.com.