Minute by minute

my thoughts on making the most out of all of life's minutes…


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Tips 25 & 26 – 28 Days of Reducing Distractions

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.

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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.

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Tips 13,14 & 15 – 28 Days of Reducing Distractions

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.  

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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.

~Amy


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#4 & 5 – 28 Days – Reducing Distractions

#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. 

 

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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!

 


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Word Up Wednesday – Out of Office Assistant/Reply

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.

Happy Wednesday!

~Amy

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.


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Not Me Monday – Sign you work

Hi Everyone!

Happy Monday!

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:

Amy Munns

Time Saver/Time Management Guru
            Finding more minutes in your day

office/cell: 360.440.8800

Blog: https://amymunns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-Munns-Consulting/114214346504

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/amymunns

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.

~Amy


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My Take on Thursday – the Friday edition –

I can’t think of what to write for this week’s My Take on Thursday.  Even now – it is Friday and my mind just won’t commit to any ideas.

They say – whenever  you are stuck about what to write, just start writing.  So that is what I’m doing.

Here are a couple of thoughts on what I thought I wanted to write about.

 

I sent out a request to a group I belong to on Linkedin looking for people who would like to be featured as guest writers for my blog while I’m on vacation next week.  I asked them to send me a link to an article they would like featured that might fit in with my overall theme.  I got a couple of really good suggestions, but I also got a couple of people that said “You can take anything off my blog.”

Well…I’m not going to be featuring those people, I can tell you already. I specifically asked for articles – not invitations to go read their entire collection of  blog posts and pick my favorite.  

Hint:  If someone offers to do something for you that will benefit you or your business – dont’ make them do more work.  Help them out as much as possible.

I was also going to write about:

 

An email I got from a co-worker that was obviously mid-thought on her part.  She was requesting some information, but her request was so vague  – I really didn’t understand what it was that she needed.

I ended up having to email her back and admit my shortcomings of not understanding what she needed and asked for more information. 

Hint:  Even if you know the person you are emailing knows what you are emailing about – it is best to still offer some additional details and background information to make it easier on the receiver.

One last thought:

 

On March 1st, I turned my programmable thermostat down one degree on all settings.  It is my attempt to save a little energy and reduce costs overall.  What I didn’t anticipate was March being colder than January.  So as I sit here typing, my fingers are cold and I’m about to bump of the heater a couple of notches.

Hint:  Don’t adjust the thermostat according to the calendar, use a thermometer instead.  

Well – look at that – – I started writing, admitted I was stuck and took a different approach to the process.  Originally, the posts were getting long and naggy  and quite honestly – boring.  But I like the way these turned out – short and to the point.  And three hints are a bonus!

Happy Day Everyone!

~Amy


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25 Tips of Christmas – #5 – Save Confirmation Emails

Tip #5 – Save Confirmation Emails

I do a lot of my Holiday shopping online.  I love it, it makes my life so much easier!

My tip today for you is – – save all those confirmation emails and shipping notifications until the package arrives and you are satisfied with it.  Today, I created a separate folder in my inbox to house all said confirmation emails.  This keeps me on track as to where all my packages are in transit.  Once I’m happy with the purchase, I delete the email.  At the end of the season, I’ll delete the folder too.

~amy

PS – I apologize for my late tip from yesterday.  I was wondering where it was when I discovered today that I forget to “publish” it.  Der!

PPS – hope you’re finding the tips helpful.