Today, I had to do something I would have preferred to not have to do. – That is, re-organizing my email account. As many of you know, I’m building a huge downline with my business and as I’m sure you may imagine, I have become completely EMAIL INUNDATED! Basically, I had let my inbox get ahead of me and the weeds had overgrown everything.
No email management to speak of…
“Das ist nicht gut!”
Now, I’m not complaining; I know that it was a good problem for me to be faced with because it means that people are reaching out and that things are poppin’. It did, however, remind me to get back to the basics to prevent chaos in my inbox and ultimately in my business. I don’t know about you, but a chaotic inbox = a chaotic and fragmented thinking process for me. So, even though you may not consider email management to be a big deal, I bet you might change your mind if you had thousands and thousands of unread, unfiled emails and the constant thought of: I just KNOW that I must be missing important things!!
I’m what many will call an “Alpha Female” – I know what I want and I know how to make it happen. Staying on top of what matters most to me is something I just do naturally…and that’s why I produce results consistently. Doing personal email management honestly isn’t in my Top 10!
Email management = better productivity
For the past few months, things have been growing so quickly with my businesses that I started to handle things as they were happening…everything except email management. And the result has been that there are unfinished tasks, such as simple things like email-clutter which have piled up to the point of near-disaster.
So today, I re-engaged myself with an essential that I recently allowed to get away from me…One of my very own RULES which I had previously been very successful with for years.
I was stuck sorting, organizing, and clearing out months of email that had cluttered. I mean, THOUSANDS of emails that were hanging in limbo in my inbox. It took me hours to get this resolved…hours that I could’ve spent just working my business, had I been more discerning with how I have spent my time the past few months. I have been dreading going through all these emails for some time. I put it off til very early this morning because I knew that email management going to be a boring chore.
This struck me in a new way and I felt inspired to share one of my best Productivity Tips with you today. It is truly applicable in most every situation you may face as you are toggling between living life and working your biz, not just email management…
Productivity Tip du Jour – F.O.C.U.S.
I <heart> this little acronym. It stands for Firmly On Course Until Successful.
Everything has it’s proper place. (And NOW, my inbox is the same. Yay for email management!)
This is really one of the greatest keys to streamlining your efforts. Life is moving so quickly, especially at the rate that information is constantly moving thanks to the internet, Facebook, and smartphones. What I’ve found is that it’s entirely too easy to become seduced by all the incoming chatter that it’s nearly impossible to NOT find yourself multitasking throughout the day. Do YOU have time to waste?..especially on something mundane like email management?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
What I’ve found that many people do not realize is just how much time it wastes to multitask through more than one task at once. The brain doesn’t even allow us to REALLY “multitask!”
Hey, don’t shoot the messenger, if you don’t like it I reckon you could take it up with God…but the truth is that we as human beings were only built with 2 frontal lobes. What that means is that we have exactly enough focus to successfully handle up to TWO different tasks successfully. (SUCCESS being the operative word here…)
Rene Marois, a well respected neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University has done extensive study which provides evidence that the human brain assigns ONE task to each side of the brain…anything more than 2 active tasks throws the brain into overload-mode.
An overloaded brain takes more time to do EVERYTHING…
Now I will mention that some other scientists believe it’s possible for the brain to handle up to 3 different tasks successfully, depending on the tasks. The problem with multitasking more than one task is that in most cases, people are literally juggling between left brain and right brain. Sure, it’s good exercise to give your brain the activity at the right time…but we’re not analyzing brain-exercise today; we are trying to figure out the best way to be able to successfully manage LIFE + create a consistently THRIVING BUSINESS…Right??
So here it is folks, it ain’t sexy, it ain’t cute, but it IS the truth…
Learn to schedule, in advance, when you will be conducting your daily tasks. If you need help in sorting this out, I recommend reading my article from earlier this week, entitled “Using Motivation to Align Expectations and Goals” – this will help you sort out your “BIG PICTURE” into small bite-sizes which will illustrate for you what your daily tasks should be so that you are ALWAYS on your intended trajectory. Start there. Seriously. Pick up a pen and do the exercise so that you have truly sorted this out…yes, it will take a little time, but YES, it will also help you CREATE more time by keeping you from leaking your time and talent like a sieve. (Trust me! My email management morning cost me several hours I’ll NEVER get back!)
Make email management part of the task schedule.
Best way to get it all done is to go through email no more than thrice a day...that’s THREE times for all you educated folks…once in the morning, once mid-day, once in the evening. People don’t usually realize how much time goes right out the door due to poor email management, so choose your times and stick to them!
Email management 101:
Unless it’s a real emergency, keep yourself from picking up or making phone calls or chatting on Facebook/Skype/Twitter/text messaging. Go through all of your un-read email at once. If it’s of no use to you, junk it and don’ t think about it anymore. If it’s something to come back to later, star it or archive it for future reference (I HIGHLY recommend Gmail due to it’s incredibly archive/search-friendly features). If an email requires a response, just do it, yo.
This is an Über-must! if you intend on getting (and staying) successful! - No more “divide and conquering” from within your own brain!
The best news is that the more often you designate specific time to each of your tasks without allowing yourself to be side-tracked by ANYthing else, the quicker you get through them, even the most monotonous of them, like email management!! This rule of operation is applicable to everything you do: calling your leads, writing blog articles, posting classifieds, studying new training…so it’s not just email management, but basically whatever it is that you are doing.
I am pleased that I carved out some “early” time today before things got busy to sort this out for myself and I hope that you will do this for yourself too! It’s a great feeling of clarity to know that things are not unfinished and fragmented. Clarity will allow you to FOCUS on your tasks at hand and see them each to SUCCESS!
If you’re struggling with your own personal productivity and are looking for some help, let me know! I’d love to hear what’s going on in your world and if I can contribute to remedying it, I surely will!
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