In our modern world of being available 24/7 by email, it sometimes feels like there is no escape. Email alerts ping in my pocket, my handbag, on my desk, they are everywhere! Sometimes if they don’t synchronise properly between PC and phone email can be lost or actions are not followed through. Quite honestly I was sick and tired of being a slave to email.
I booked Grace Marshall of www.gracemarshall.com, productivity ninja and coach to help me to find a system that worked for me. The day with Grace was great, we worked through all my email (and there was lots and lots!) I now have a system of prioritising emails for action, those that are waiting for someone to come back to me and those that are just to read. I also did lots of unsubscribing from newsletters that I never read to reduce the number of email coming in.
To stop the issue of email not synching correctly, I now only read my email on my iPhone and don’t use it to respond or flag email, unless it is really urgent. Now that my inbox is down to zero – yes ZERO – I only have one day’s worth of email to sort out and respond to, so much easier to handle. It means that I no longer miss email, or miss flagging email for action. It does, of course, require human intervention, so I am sure there might be the odd one that gets filed in the wrong place with the slip of a finger. I now feel much more in control of my email and am pleased to have taken the time to sort it out.
When I am working at my desk all day I also switch off email and only check it a couple of times a day. Grace says that ‘one minute of distraction takes c. 15 minutes to recover from’, so four email interruptions could loose you an hour!
I have also turned off all notifications for Twitter, Facebook and Linked in to avoid those disruptions too.
Grace’s approach was fantastic, she really listed to my needs and adapted her style to suit. I am hoping for a more productive week! For more top tips from Grace, she has a book out ’21 ways to manager the stuff that sucks up your time’. And her latest book is just out ‘How to be really productive’.