I’m talking about myself, here. And I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m a little bit addicted to the pinging of my inbox. Even before I get out bed in the morning, I check my emails from my smartphone. Just in case there’s something exciting, or urgent, or interesting, or all of the above.
But then I came across the advice of Brendan Burchard and it’s made me reassess my relationship to this technology. I need to control it, not the other way around.
In order to stop being a slave to your inbox, Burchard suggests a few things. First thing in the morning, after your feet have touched the floor, go out and exercise. And then eat breakfast. Most of us switch the computer on and get stuck in the mini-dramas.
After your head-clearing and healthy start to the day, what does Burchard suggest you do next? No, don’t turn on the computer. Instead, sit at a blank piece of paper and spend 5 minutes mapping out your priorities for the day under these three categories.
Projects include tasks the for the day, the big picture items. For example, if you’re writing a book, set aside a chunk of time to tackle that task.
People are the people you need to ring and connect with in order to achieve your goals. Most work requires reaching out to get the resources or information needed to advance your work.
Priorities are your top projects. Writing them down is good reinforcement.
I have to say, it’s incredibly liberating and empowering to set your agenda first, before being bombarded by other people’s agendas. If you’re clear about what you want to achieve in the day, you’re less likely to be influenced by the constant email. Of course, if you’re a service provider, it’s a bit more difficult to not respond to the immediate needs of your clients. But again, if you’ve mapped out what you want to achieve in your day, your mind becomes more focused on it.
How do you manage the demands of your inbox?
Photo Credit: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/14208