The first few posts this year are going to focus on personal development topics. The end of the year and the end of each quarter is a great time to go back and review what you’ve been doing and what you would like to be doing. We’re going to start with e-mail. I have written about it before, and before that because e-mail is a part of our daily lives. It’s insane when you really think about it.
Five years out of college and I’ve learned a lot about what works for my inbox and what doesn’t and I would like to add a few more tips to my growing list
Shut It Off
I try to periodically shut off my inbox during the day. Of course I have experience some people not liking having immediate access to me, but my time is just as valuable as yours and my time is one of the few things I can control about my day. E-mail is absolutely important and I value it, but I don’t sit on it and I don’t check it every five minutes. My rule is simple: You need something in five minutes? Call me.
File It Away
Throughout the day I get multiple e-mails from clients that require me to edit a document, add information to their website or tasks of that nature. I usually don’t take immediate action. Instead I move the e-mail to a specific folder for each project/client titled, “To Do.”
This is a two-parter.
First, a lot of people have BlackBerrys and iPhones. I think it’s great we are connected. What isn’t is when I’m in a meeting and the person I am meeting with isn’t giving me their direct attention. If we’re talking and listening to each other, I, and I don’t think it’s outside the realm of expectations, I expect to respect each other’s time. Keep your phone in your pocket, the emails and texts can wait.
Secondly, this is a personal preference, but I don’t need a “thank-you” e-mail every time I complete a task. One every now and again that is more personal is preferred. For two reasons, I’m not five-years-old and I quite simply don’t have the time to delete ten of those e-mails a day.
(photo courtesy m-c)