Tip 25 – Create a separate email account for newsletters and receipts.
Don’t clutter up your inbox with emails you want to read later. Keep one inbox for action items and one inbox for “things to read later” . The “to read later” emails won’t distract you when you’re trying to get some real work done.
Tip 26 – Carve out a time to read those emails
My friend Maria wakes up early every Saturday morning and while everyone else is still sleeping, she reads her favorite blogs and any fun emails she’s been saving all week. What a wonderful way to start the weekend.
Tips 13, 14 & 15 can be lumped into one category – although taken separately, they are equally distracting.
Tip 13 – Don’t check Twitter, Facebook or YouTube – or any social media
Tip 14 – Don’t check your email
Tip 15 – Don’t check your voice mail.
How many times have you been in your kitchen, trying to fix breakfast, fix lunches, yelling at the kids to get dressed and brush their teeth and pack their backpacks – – and your phone chimes. Without hesitate, you drop everything you are doing and check who liked your latest Facebook status?
And by you – I mean – me.
When you are that busy trying to get all of those things done – you know, really – – – Facebook and emails and voice mails – – they can wait. Focus on the tasks at hand and leave the phone updates until later, when you have time to focus on them.
And by you – – I mean – – me…
Happy Saturday, Everyone.
#4 and 5 – Turn off email and Facebook notifications.
I’m lumping these together although they are two separate distractions. But every time the little bell dings or the little notification box pops up in the corner of your screen – it is a distraction. It pull you away from the thing you were working on and takes away your focus.
So turn them off and let your creative juices flow smoothly without interruption. Then when you have a break in your work, check your email and Facebook to see what you might have missed.
Next time you are on Facebook – check out my page and give me a like!
Do you ever get those auto replies that say something like
“I’m out of the office this week, I’ll be in touch with you when I return.”
This auto reply function on your email server has become named the “Out of Office Assistant” and that my friends, is today’s Word Up Wednesday!
This auto reply is very helpful for people who send and receive a lot of email. It is a courtesy for those on the sending end to be notified that you are planning on being away from your normal routine for a set period of time and when they can expect to hear back from you.
This function is available on most email servers and to use this option isn’t limited to only professionals or small business owners. I suggest setting it for your personal email as well.
A couple of key points to remember:
- Turn it on – it is important to set it up as you are planning on being away. Maybe you are going on vacation, a business trip, a conference or maybe your week is just full of meetings that are keeping you away from your normal turnaround rate.
- Turn it off. Once you have returned back to your regular routine, be sure to turn the reply off.
- Don’t over explain where you will be. You don’t have to say “I’m getting crown put in on my bottom, left molar and I usually take a couple of days to recover from any dental procedure.” TMI! Just state stimply…”I’ll be out of the office from this date to this date. I’ll return your email as soon as I get back into the office.”
- But do offer a contact of someone in your office who is covering for you if this is necessary.
- Consider giving yourself an extra day to catch up upon your return. By saying “I’ll be returning on Monday and I’ll get back to you as soon as I get back.” implies that you’ll get back to them Monday. Give yourself a little time to catch up on details that happened while you were gone instead of promising an immediate response. You won’t be able to give an immediate response to everyone.
People appreciate quick responses and we’ve come to expect it. The handy Out of Office Assistant relieves the issues of “I haven’t heard back from Tom.” This will keep your clients and customers satisfied and takes the stress off of you of having to be available 24/7.
What’s your experience with using an Out of Office Assistant? I’d love to hear if you love it or never use it – – and why.
PS – do you love inspirational quotes as much as I do. Subscribe to my ” a minute, a thought” blog for a once daily, positive message. It helps set the tone for your day. This month we’re doing all Buddha quotes.
Do remember when you were in school and your teacher would have to remind everyone to “sign your work.” Nothing’s changed now that we’re all grown up.
My friend Dan writes about it today on his blog and I thought I’d share his “points” with you. Check it out here Extra Points – Sign your work.
(now that’s a signature!)
Along the same lines….do you have a signature on your email? You should! This little area hold space that is vital for people to contact you for future needs. Don’t forget to include things like your name, your title, your phone numbers, a link to your website, Linkedin page, and your Facebook page. I always like people who include a little quote or tagline that helps me connect with them even more. Here’s what my email signature looks like:
Time Saver/Time Management Guru
Finding more minutes in your day
“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time’ is to say ‘I don’t want to.'” – Lao Tzu
Share with me your email signatures. Paste them below in the comments section.