What if I told you that you could become 28% more productive at your job by making a few adjustments to your daily schedule? Does this sound a bit wacky – maybe even silly? That’s OK – I don’t blame you for being skeptical! But you have read this paragraph so far so why not keep going?
A study conducted by McKenzie and Company a few years ago revealed the average interaction worker spends an estimated 28 percent of the workweek managing e-mail. That is boatload of time!
When you think about it, that statistic makes sense when you consider the sheer volume of email you likely get on an hourly basis. A good chunk of those electronic messages are likely informational in nature, meaning they do not require your immediate attention. And I am willing to bet a good deal more is simply spam.
If you are overwhelmed with email at work or if you are noticing that managing your email is gobbling up entire swaths of your workday, maybe it’s time to create positive change? How is this possible you might be thinking? Well, it’s going to take some work on your part but it can be done!
Here are 3 tips to become 28% more effective at work right now.
1. Create concrete times to check email
One of the best ways to become more effective at work is to build time for email into your daily schedule. Some people find the best time to check and respond to mail is first thing in the morning. Others pick a time where there is a workflow lull. The idea here is to choose something that works for you and then stick to it. Most folks I have worked with choose two times as a starting point. You may have to play around with this a bit and figure out what works best for you. This is a normal part of the change process.
2. Set a timer
Now that you have chosen the time(s) to attend to email, the next thing you will want to do is concretize that activity in your schedule. One effective way of doing this is by using the alarm on your smartphone. Example: Let’s say you have scheduled your email time from 10 AM – 10:30am. The moment you open up your mail, set your smart-phone’s timer to go off in 30 minutes. Make sure when that alarm goes off it is SUPER annoying (no harps or pretty nature sounds). The idea is to set up something jarring to pull you out of email world! When that sound goes off, train yourself to automatically close your email. Don’t think about it – just do it and move onto to your next task.
3. Set your phone to airplane mode
If your email is connected to your smartphone, you have two options. One is to disconnect your workplace email from your phone OR set your phone to “Airplane Mode”. Option two works best for people who use a company issued electronic device (i.e. iPhone or Android). Turning your phone on airplane mode generally will stop all forms of electronic messaging from coming into your device. This means text messages too! If you have the type of job that does not require ongoing, real time communications with others, the airplane mode solution may be just what you need to get more control of your day!
I recognize that many people do not have the luxury of employing the suggestions I have mentioned here but a number of readers do. By scheduling specific times during the day for email management, you can become more productive on the job and feel less stressed out.
You may even be able to save yourself enough time so that you can focus more on wellness related activities, like physical activity and exercise. The more mindful you become of your time at work, the more likely you will set yourself up to have a happier day!
FYI: Even if the nature of your job is such that you cannot employ the specific recommendations outlined here, creating some amount mindfulness around email can positively impact the quality of your day.
Like the old saying goes, time is money and it’s not just your employer’s!
I hope you found some of the tips mentioned here useful. Thanks for taking the time to stop by Reaching Life Goals here on Psychcentral. Please Like on Facebook, Circle on Google+ and Share on Twitter!
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