I’m having one of those months where I realize I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. What with catching up from a month off, to adding new bloggers to some of my blogs, to interviews with a couple of major newspapers, to working on a two day per week research position, to updating 20 blogs, to deciding this is the week to completely rework my Amazon affiliate links on over 5000 pages of content, to the normal hundreds of emails and IM conversations each day, to trying to run a church (it’s a hobby/passioin), to speaking next week on a four day conference (I really should do some preparation), to trying to start writing a book, to conference calls at all hours of the night….
I’m realizing that I either need to get myself a PA or I need to manage my time a little better.
So today I spent a little time reorganizing an area of my life that takes way too much time – Email.
Here’s Darren’s Productivity Tip #1 (there may never be a #2… I have no time).
Turn down the frequency with which your email platform checks your email.
Until today I had Entourage checking for new email every 4 minutes – all day long. That meant ever four minutes my concentration was broken and a potential distraction from the task at hand entered my life with a lovely chime and pop up on my screen notifying me of the incoming email/s. Due to the volume of email that I get there was usually at least one email every 4 minutes.
Today I turned down the frequency. I could (and probably should) make it even less frequent – but I’m trying to step down slowly so now Entourage only checks email every 13 minutes.
I figure 13 minutes is about as long as I can hold a thought or concentrate for anyway – so an interruption at the end of it might not be such a bad idea. I’ll probably make it 20+ minutes though – because even after just 1 day I can already feel the impact it’s having. Less urgency, fewer interruptions and about one third of the chimes!