As a business owner, it’s vital that you take complete ownership over the use of your time and improve productivity
Much has been written on the effective use of time and how it effects productivity, but what I want to do is give you a few tips that have helped me and my team, so you too can apply them to your working day.
I believe I have at least doubled my productivity in the last year and most of this gain has been achieved by defeating the ‘Time Bandits’ from my daily routine.
There are a number of Time Bandits, ranging from staff, family, friends, your mobile phone etc… But none of these are as bad as the worst offender – EMAIL. For many people the EMAIL Bandit poses the biggest threat to their time. It can rule your day and massively reduce your productivity.
Obviously email is a great business tool but for many it’s got out of hand. Think about it…
If you’re like most people, you look at your email first thing in the morning and last thing at night. EMAIL IS RULING YOU – NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
It’s not easy to change this habit but if you want to take back control of your working day (and weekends) you have to drive a stake through the heart of your email and make it your slave:
Here’s how to do it…
TIP #1: DON’T TURN YOUR EMAIL ON FIRST THING IN THE MORNING
You want to get your day off to the best possible start and in the most productive way. Instead of looking at your email first thing in the morning, wait at least 2 to 3 hours.
This gives you quality time to work on your business in the best frame of mind. A bad email can completely derail your day and turn it into a non-starter.
TIP #2: KEEP IT TURNED OFF
You should only open your email two or three times a day. Once you have done what you need to have done, log out of your email account…DON’T leave it in an open window on your screen or in the background. Emails popping up is a massive distraction and interrupts your work. TURN OFF PHONE NOTIFICATIONS as they will constantly be fighting for your attention…It’s rare that any email will be so urgent that you can’t leave your reply for at least an hour or two.
TIP #3: DON’T LOOK AT YOUR EMAIL LAST THING AT NIGHT
The temptation before going to bed is to look your emails. You must get out of this habit as it is completely pointless and may have the additional impact of negatively affecting your quality of sleep. Everything can be sorted the next day (Remember, NOT FIRST THING).
This takes real discipline and you can quickly revert back to old habits, but work on it and you’ll see a massive difference in your productivity!