Time Wasters: those things that can be ignored with little or no consequence. Common time wasters included meetings, discussions, ph calls, web surfing, and email that are unimportant.
Limit email consumption and production! This is the greatest single interruption in the modern world.
- Turn off the audible alert and the automatic send/receive.
- Check email 2-4 times per day. Never check it first thing unless you are expecting something urgent that is needed immediately. Instead, complete your most important or a very important task before 11am and before email check so you don’t use email or lunch as a postponement excuse.
- Labels and Filters – For Gmail
- Forward via a filter what you get and simply forward each month.
- Unsubscribe from all those Newsletters
- Consider email template: “Greetings, due to high workload, I am currently checking and responding to email twice daily at X and again at X. If you require urgent assistance that cannot wait until either X or X, please contact me via phone at XXXXXXXX. Thank you for understanding this move to become more effective and efficient in serving you, Sincerely, XX.
- Once you have become comfortable with the email check a few times a day, reduce it by one.
- Consider using two phone numbers, an urgent and a non urgent (cell phone and company private line).
- Answering the phone for work – What’s going on vs. “How can I help you” or “What can I do for you” or “I’m right in the middle of something. How can I help you out.”
- Master the Art of Refusal to non core activitites.
- Respond to voicemail via e-mail whenever possible – be concise, it will train others to be concise as well.
- “If…then” emails
- Set times to “invade” other people’s area – Office setup.
- Master the art of Nonfinishing – if its a crappy book/article, put it down. If you are full after half a rack of ribs, put the fork down. Don’t fill your time with waste.
Time without attention is no time at all – Time with the family/kids/friends isn’t time if you are scanning your phone or ipad the whole time. Put it down, leave it at home!