How I Stay on Top of Email in 33 Minutes a Day

Most of us receive far more email than we want, and certainly more than we need. Many people spend hours each day answering or reading email. Many more feel the weight of guilt about the hundreds (or perhaps thousands) of unanswered emails sitting in their inbox.

Boss has received many email from job candidate

A few years ago, my wife and I traveled to the UK. While we were there, I had limited access to the Internet, especially while we were in Edinburgh, Scotland. I was basically limited to the half-hour I had each morning in a small Internet café. It was there that I learned it was possible to deal with email in 30 minutes a day.

I currently budget 33 minutes each day to deal with business email. You can easily do the same.

This is an entertaining and informative video from TED, featuring New York Times columnist David Pogue. How do you deal with the increasing complexity of our daily lives? Why does simplicity appeal to us? Funny and thought-provoking.

The Art of Defensive Time Management

If you don’t manage your time, someone else will manage it for you.

One of the key tactics for getting out of overwhelm his understanding that you are a powerful person, in charge of your own schedule. You get to decide when to say “yes”, and when to say “no”.

Business man stop time

That’s simple enough. But simple does not always equal easy, and managing your time defensively-protecting it from abuse by other people-requires that you do something that is not easy.

You must set and enforce boundaries.

My New Productivity Tweaks for 2013

I took the last few days to contemplate what worked for me, in terms of productivity, over the past year – and what did not work. The result: a new plan for improved productivity in 2013.

business concept on wall

While you may not wish to duplicate my plan point-for-point, I thought you might find it useful to see my “working blueprint”. Maybe it will serve as a springboard for your own fresh new productivity tweaks.

Do You Make These 7 Mistakes That Kill Your Productivity?

You can regain a lot of productivity simply by avoiding the mistakes that kill it.

If you make any of these 7 mistakes, eliminate them and watch your productivity soar.

  1. Check e-mail first thing in the morning.
  2. Answer the phone every time it rings.
  3. Allow frequent interruptions by people who “just need a minute.”
  4. Start your day without a plan (without knowing the top 3 things you need to accomplish today).
  5. Say “yes” to anything without thinking through exactly what you are committing to.
  6. Not knowing with precise clarity the outcomes you want to create.
  7. Focusing on tension-relieving activities, instead of goal-achieving activities.

First Thing, Let’s Kill All The Monsters

If you really want to be more productive, the 1st thing you have to do each morning is “kill all monsters.”

You most likely already know exactly what I’m talking about.

The “monsters” are those things that you need to do each day that are important but unpleasant.

Maybe you don’t even think of them as unpleasant, but you still have a difficult time getting yourself to do them. You procrastinate. You find excuses.

You just don’t get around to killing those monsters.