Email is one of the greatest inventions for entrepreneurs and business owners. It’s also one of the most detrimental to our daily productivity.
Checking one email can lead down a rabbit hole of reaction. When we start reacting to every email we get it takes control away from our day. Don’t let your inbox steal from your to-do list. Don’t let email steal from your schedule. Instead, schedule email in your day. Set certain times each day when you respond to email and stick to it. Give your important to-dos your full attention uninterrupted by your inbox.
I first read about this in Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Work Week and I thought he was crazy. How could I possibly check my email once a day (as he did). I had to continually work with my design clients; sending proofs, getting feedback and fostering my client relationships. Little did I know my day was controlled by that little inbox.
Back then, I would start my day by checking email, of course. Then I would let my email dictate what was most important and get started. My inbox was my to-do-list. So much so that I would email myself to-dos. If an email was unread it meant that task was not done.
As you can image this was really a disaster. Especially when my kids would be on my phone playing Peek-A-Boo Barn as toddlers. They learned quick how to dismiss an email notification and get back to their games.
My task-creator was too fallible, and with the munchkins on my phone, it was a ticking time bomb, not to mention the fact that I never was able to reach any of MY goals. I just did what the inbox told me to do.
Since those days I have changed big time. And while I am no Tim Ferris, I do have set times for email, and it is NEVER first thing in the morning. You see if you want to master your business and your time you need to layout what YOUR dream business looks like. You need to make goals and a plan to get it there, and you need to work that plan. If you spend all your days slaving through your inbox, letting email run you, you will never get to those plans and that dream business will keep getting push back.
You see if you want to master your business and your time you need to layout what YOUR dream business looks like. You need to make goals and a plan to get it there, and you need to work that plan. If you spend all your days slaving through your inbox, letting email run you, you will never get to those plans and that dream business will keep getting push back.
It is time to master your day. It is time to master your business. It is time to tame your email.
During work-time turn off email notifications—no pop-ups, no dings, no vibrations. Focus on to do items during work time and email only at email times. Your production will increase and you will feel better getting more done.
For me, I have two times a day that I “check email” and that is when I do my general corresponding. I also have set time that I do client work, and if that includes sending out proofs, or receiving feedback I do pop into my email but I try to be a focus ninja and get in and get out best I can. I know the lure of that one email in there, and how that can spiral my day and my big plans down the drain.
Are you a slave to your email? Do you ever let email run your day? Take a step back and look at the effect email has on your big plans for your business. If you find email is hampering your progress I have 3 tips for you:
- Schedule email time and work time and be stringent about these
- Use a service like Unroll.me to “roll up” emails you want to get, but not necessarily want cluttering up your inbox, luring you off your path.
- Perform a time audit to see how long tasks like email are taking in your day. By tracking your focus for a week you will have an arsenal of information, and it will probably surprise you. You will be empowered to take more control over your time, your day and your goals. I have a free time audit in my resource library you can download here.BONUS TIP: Write out your big business goal (like $1000 a month in passive income or 10 clients in your group program) and work on steps to get that goal first in the day, before you even open your email. You’ll be surprised at how much traction you can get from giving yourself this time first and foremost each day, even if it’s just 30-60 minutes.
Until next time,
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