Establishing Protocols – Why Bother?

One thing I find interesting in my research is the extent to which very successful people have established protocols for how they handle things.

For example, one organization may have a protocol that all routine emails are answered within one week, while another company may have a protocol that all emails receive a response within 24 or 48 hours. Or, this executive only checks email once or twice a day, and has set up an autoresponder letting people know that.

So, you could be working in an environment with some already-established protocols. But it is just as likely (especially if you are a relatively new entrepreneur) that you are operating without having established protocols for yourself.

What happens when you don’t have your own procedures established? You tend to spend a lot of time dealing with things as they come in throughout the day – allowing yourself to be interrupted every time you see new email come in, or every time the phone rings.

I just heard Tim Ferriss say ‘stop treating email as if it were IM’ – and I was struck by how often we do exactly that!

In the same interview he also said that the tools you choose to use to leverage your time should be for your own convenience, not the convenience of anyone else.

What would your protocols be if you were setting them up to leverage your time and if you were setting them up for your convenience?