A reporter from Pilates Style magazine is interviewing me tonight about managing email. When she typed “email overload expert” in Google, I’m on the first page. That’s how I get all my interviews. I’d never heard of this popular magazine, and I certainly would not have thought to pitch them a story about email.
On another note, this month, I’m quoted in three different articles in SUCCESS magazine. Didn’t have to do a thing but be available for questions.
It’s so much easier to let them find you when they need your expertise than it is to figure out who, when, and what to pitch. Order my ebook, Shameless Self-Promotion: DIY SEO, and find out how to get your business found online based on what you do or sell.
When someone responds to an email message that “yes” they’re going to do something and I see it comes from their phone, I have just about zero confidence that they’re going to remember to do it. Here’s why.
At my computer, I’m inside Outlook, and a new message arrives. I immediately drag it to my calendar or tasks with a reminder or an appointment. And depending on the situation, I might flag that message for follow-up. On the other hand, when I check email on my iPhone, I’m not going to do all that. Neither will you. You most likely look at the email, respond with a quick “yes,” and make no effort to put anything in place to help you remember.
When I MONITOR email, I’m just checking for anything I need to respond to right away (e.g., an inquiry from a reporter on a deadline, a cancelled meeting, etc.). Otherwise, I’ll deal with everything else when I’m in front of my computer because I can MANAGE better and easier.
For more tips on managing email, here’s a series of low-cost, how-to videos I recorded called “12 Fast Ways to Answer Email in Outlook.”
Also, check out my article on managing #emailoverload on NYTimes.com, “Room for Debate: Reduce Bad E-mail Habits.”
Improving your personal productivity requires work … upfront. Working yourself into deeper holes and trying to squeeze in a day off or a vacation just won’t cut it. The damage is already done, and if you don’t totally revamp how you work, that same stress and mess will be there when you return. I’m a personal productivity coach and consultant, and here’s how I structure working with my clients.
ANALYZE. You have to analyze how you spend your time. See where it’s going using a time log. You’ll be SHOCKED to find out how much time you actually waste.
ORGANIZE. Everything you touch needs a system so you can find anything the instant you need it. This applies to everything from your clothes closet to your computer files.
PRIORITIZE. Do the main thing you’ve been hired to do because that’s closest to the money. Which clients gladly pay you what you’re worth and which ones nickel and dime you and work you to death? What were you hired to do as opposed to what you’re actually spending time doing? Do the thing that gets you paid the quickest.
SYSTEMATIZE. If you do something more than three times, you absolutely must develop systems that are well-thought-out and documented so others can follow if they need to. Streamline and automate…this requires quiet, thinking time.
COMPUTERIZE. You invest in the latest technology with all the bells and whistles. But then you can’t be bothered to learn how to use it. The more tips and tricks you learn, the quicker you’re going to finish the work with less mistakes. Take classes in the software you use every day (the 2 hours you spent with IT when you got some new software isn’t sufficient).
Now that your systems are tight and you’re clear on what needs to be done and how, you can delegate. Let others follow your system and tweak it as they need to.
Spend time upfront to do this, and I promise you’ll end up with way more free time than you thought possible. Oh, but I know…you don’t have time!