Just another quick list to save you time and anguish at work. Distractions are costly, we all have a To Do list, here is your Do Not Do list
Don’t answer unknown phone numbers.
If you do not know the number it is an unknown number. Blocked number, or phone numbers you do not recognize, are likely to be just a distraction you don’t need. Of course, we are talking about your cell phone, if your cell phone is your main business line you may not be able to do this but use your own judgment. You have voice mail for a reason, use it.
Do not use distraction media or websites.
Work is where we get work done, unless you are in marketing you don’t really need to have Facebook open, you don’t need to have Twitter open. At the very least there are times during the day that these types of sites should be closed down for distraction-free time to complete projects or List items. Try using apps like “Freedom” https://freedom.to you can use this app on your phone and or your desktop and block these site or even the whole internet for selected times you can even schedule days, times that will block these automatically.
Do not email early in the morning or late at night.
When you contact your customers you are setting expectations, if you answer an email within 20 minutes of receiving it, some customers will start to expect this level of commitment. So if you get an email at 10:30 pm and answer it, then this customer will believe that this is common practice and continue to intrude into your personal time. Use “Boomerang” to set send times if you are looking at the email at 10:30 pm, sure you want to act while it is fresh in your mind, using time-delayed software such as “Boomerang” you can type your answer and set it to send at 10:00 am, this will allow you to answer the email and mark it as done, but not set unrealistic expectations with your clients
Do not agree to meetings or calls without desired outcome and agenda.
How can you be productive if you are always taking meetings with no Idea of why you are meeting, how can you be prepared to answer questions. How are you able to get your work done if you constantly have interruptions. Schedule meetings you do take in 30-minute increments use two if need be, but most meeting can be accomplished in 30 minutes or less.
Batch emails, do not leave it open all day check it at set times.
Don’t leave your email open all day! it is a distraction Email or “E.M.A.I.L.” I like to call it Everyone Mailing Inserting Lots of shit for you to do. EMail can be one of 4 things, for the most part, Someone trying to sell you something, Someone telling you about a fire that needs put out, Someone asking you a question business related or otherwise, or something else of a personal matter better handled with your off work time. Only a few of these really need to be something you should be willing to interrupt your work. So set a few times a day to check your email and answer only the ones that need to be answered, when you are board later at night you can mess with the rest.
Do not over-communicate with low-paying clients. 80/20
Many time we communicate most with our lowest paying clients. This does not serve you or your business well. The 80/20 rule applies here, 80% of your Client will take up most of your time while the other 20% will take less of your time. You will find that the 80% is your lower paying clients while the other 20% is your higher paying clients. You need to spend more time with the clients who respect your time and your business. Sometimes it may even be necessary to re-train these clients that you are in fact a business and that the more time you have to spend with them the more they will have to pay.
Single most important thing for one day
You should have a list, and there should be no more than three things you have to accomplish in one day, the one on the top of the list is the most important. When creating a list look at the list and prioritize it by doing this. Look at the list and ask your self what on this list if I do it, will make some other list item unnecessary or easier to do, when you find it, that is first on the list. This is the most important thing to get done. This is what you should be working on, do that every day and check things off the list.
Do not carry a digital leash (Phone)
Ok so I know I will get a lot of slack about this one, but bare with me. I am not saying not to carry your phone per’se I am saying that use your phone don’t let it rule you. I am saying that you need not have it on your ar all times. There are times when you need to shut it off and set it down or throw it in a desk drawer so you are able to accomplish the things on your list. Too much of our day is planned by everyone else because we allow it by keeping our distractions front and center, Phones, Social Media, Email, the things we use to keep us entertained to keep from doing things we should be doing.
Do not expect work to fill a void, that you are lacking in your personal life.
A lot of time we are lacking in one or more areas of our lives and we expect another to fill the void. It won’t so quit trying. If your business is lacking and your personal life is great, work on your business, if your business is great and your personal life is lacking then work on your personal life don’t try to use one to supplement the other. I am not about to give relationship and love advice, I am saying the whole of you need to be fulfilled or both parts of your life will suffer so you yourself will suffer. One without the other will not leave you happy, just sayn.