Here's the challenge email I sent to you last week:
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so why not make it 50? My stomach hurts just thinking about it! Too much of a good thing can easily turn into not such a good thing!
So it is with email and social media. In general, they are good things for our business and personal lives, but too much can quickly turn into not such a good thing. Checking email once, twice, or even three times a day is a vital part of growing your business and responding to customers. Pulling out our phones for every ding, not such a good thing.
This week's challenge is to limit checking your email and social media to a few times a day. I'll leave the frequency and time of day up to you, but this week I want us to set limits and stick with them. I know in my head that checking email and social media constantly; wastes time, makes me loose focus, and ultimately is a serious detriment to my productivity. Head knowledge is great, but now I need to put that into action and set some reasonable limits I can follow. I need to check my email and social media only a set number of times per day, and close them down the rest of the time!
One change I have made in the past couple weeks was to sign up for a service called Unroll.me . It rolls up all my email subscriptions into one easy to view email that I receive once a day. I have noticed a dramatic decrease in the amount of time I spend on email with this service, and it's free!
To summarize the challenge:
Set a limit on the number of times you will check email and social media each day.
Watch your productivity sky rocket!
As I mentioned in my email, I feel like Unroll.me has been a huge step in helping me limit checking email and increasing my productivity. The last several weeks I have waited to look at my “rolled up” emails from the service until the evening, after the kids are in bed. By this time of night I just want to relax, watch a show on Netflix, and eat pistachios. I have found that I don't linger over my emails when I read them in the evening. I speed through them as fast as I can, looking for the emails that I'm most interested in, and skimming over the rest. My old habit had been to check my email in the morning while I ate my breakfast. When I check my email in the morning, I have a habit of lingering over them with my coffee, slowly reading each one. By the time I'm done with email in the morning, I've used up a chunk of time that I could have been using to tackle my big task. By switching to an evening reading schedule, I've been able to tackle my big goal for the day right away, and I'm saving my more menial task of email for when I have less energy. There is no way I have energy to tackle a big project at 8 pm! I feel like this one switch has helped my productivity to increase dramatically!
That being said, each day it is still a challenge to shut down what is unimportant and focus on my big task. The method I outlined above is for my personal email account. It is so hard to resist constantly checking our business email account for another interview booking or to check the Facebook page to see if anyone shared our most recent post. Each day I have to remind myself to check email and Facebook only a few times, and to turn it off the rest of the time. I certainly haven't “arrived”, but I am making progress. Baby steps people, baby steps!
What about you? Were you able to limit checking your email and Facebook this week? What were the results? Let us know in the comments.