How would you like to gain an extra 1 or 2 hours a day in just one simple step? Dumb question. In the same way that no one has disposable income anymore, none of us has any disposable time.
So I’m going to wave my magic wand and PRANG!.. give you back that time. Are you ready? Here it is…
Let GO of checking email.
That’s it. That’s the secret.
I can hear you groaning. Listen, too many entrepreneurs start their day by immediately falling into a bottomless black hole. Does that sound like a good beginning to a productive day?
Let’s just call it what it is:
Email is like having a evil, little troll on your desk, walking back and forth in front of your computer, jabbering loudly and nagging on and on, mostly about NOTHING IMPORTANT and regularly having some sort of “urgent emergency” that simply must be attended to right now!
(On a side note, I just returned from an awesome trip to Disney World with the family and was struck by just how many people had their nose’s buried in their smart phone – on ride or in a show! – instead of being present and enjoying the time with their children! But I digress…)
Anywhoo, if you want to go to the next level with your productivity and your income, you must get a handle on your inbox. Here are some tips I learned from one of my mentors that will set you on the right track:
- Create a VIP Email Address. This is the address that you reserve for only your high level private clients, your own coach or mentor, and any other people who are critical to your business. And you keep this address SECRET! You don’t give it out to anyone else. No one. And make sure everyone who has this access knows the rules and does not give this email out.
- Set Clear Boundaries. Teach your clients how to effectively use email with you and what to expect in return. Set a firm boundary as to what you will address in emails and how soon you will reply. I reserve email for burning questions (time sensitive) and quick feedback. I promise to respond within 72 hours or sooner, Monday through Thursday. There might be the occasional truly urgent problems – if a client is in the middle of a big launch for example –where I will respond immediately and usually by phone.
- Hand It Off. Okay, here’s the first part of letting go. Your public email address – the one you use on your website, newsletter, etc needs to be handled by your V.A. or other assistant. They will sort any important stuff and forward it to you and answer all the other inquiries. Your V.A. should also take over much of the routine “client care” duties from you.
- Take Back Your Time. Okay, I saved the hardest for last (at least for me.) You must start reading and responding to emails at certain times of the day. Then set a timer for how long you are going to spend on email. You must actually take back the time you have been frittering away on email, otherwise it will all get eaten up again. Tech hint: turn off email notifications and set your email app to only check for new mail at a certain interval, i.e. ever 2 hours or whatever.