Being more productive

Emails

Studies show that on average a worker checks his/her emails 30 times per day. The goal I would like to set to you is to only collect your emails in batches, let’s say 3 to 4 times per day. Only read company related emails and delete all non-business related emails. Unsubscribe yourself from any email chain that is not relevant. If you feel you are being copied on an email not relevant to you, let the sender kno

Do not disturb

Now that we have set a time to check and return emails, this should free some time to focus on critical tasks. It’s important that you do not disturb others with random questions and social or personal issues. Save all your work related questions and either detail in an email or request a few minutes to meet. Stick to the point of the meeting and get back to important task at hand. We are all here to deliver great service to both our internal and external customers. Our customers depend on us to provide focused quality work.

Do not “copy all”

Email can save time but not if it is abused. Send or copy only when it’s necessary. Take time to compose each email with professionalism and clear direction. The reader will thank you for not wasting their time.

Important/critical tasks

Most people leave at the end of the day and wonder why they did not get much done. Some say that 80% of the day is wasted on meaningless interruptions and tasks that are not client related. Therefore chunk your time to dedicate to important tasks.

Do not agree to meetings or calls with no clear agenda or end time

If the desired outcome is defined clearly with a stated objective and agenda list of topics and questions, no meetings should last for more than 30 minutes. You must request agenda in advance so you can prepare and make good use of the time together.

Stay focus and on task

Write yourself a note and post somewhere on your desk. The note should read: What are you doing now? Is it on a task? If the answer is not related to your critical work, stop what you are doing and get back to the scheduled task.

Batch tasks

Good examples for batching are emails, phone calls and parts registration. You should quickly find which tasks make the most sense to batch.

Internet

Do not have a browser lending page that distracts you from work. Checking weather, sports, shopping or news is not essential to your work.

Do not email first thing in the morning

This may distract you from the tasks at end.

Do not leave the office in the evening without setting one or two critical tasks for the next morning

This will keep you focused on a critical task first thing in the morning, when your attention is at it’s best.

Do not let people ramble

Control the conversation. Forget “how is it going?” when someone calls you. Stick to the subject of the conversation. Tell them that you are in the middle of something but that you can give them a quick minute to help them get to the point quickly.

Prioritise

If you don’t prioritise, everything seems urgent and important. If you define the single most important tasks for each day, almost nothing seems urgent or important.

In a nutshell:

  1. Checks emails
    1. 10am
    2. 1pm
    3. 4pm
  2. Focus on 1 to 3 activities per day
  3. Minimize chat and maximise single tasking.
  4. Leave the office by 6:00pm latest!

Inspired by Bernard Sandoval CEO of Sandia.

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