Today I posted on Twitter that I’m trying to establish scheduled periods throughout the day to check my email because I’m having a difficult time balancing email requests and my regular work load.
I got some great responses. My favorite inspired this posts’ title, from @jdstrong80: I have to do that with TweetDeck some days too, otherwise I feel like a squirrel with ADHD.
@Magsg suggested a good book: The Myth of Multitasking: How “Doing It All” Gets Nothing Done by Dave Crenshaw. I’m going to add it to my pile of books I need to read, although it just might sneak to the top, especially if I can get it from the library on audio book.
I read a book called 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam a few months ago. It had a lot of good ideas, mostly around prioritizing. I was already doing most of them – I’m a big fan of efficiency. It was a good reminder to remember the things that are really important in my life. It’s OK to say no to things you don’t really want to do, which is a lesson I need reminded about from time to time.
@TMcDonough also sent me a great tweet: Been doing that for a while now and find I’m more productive when I do email = “email is someone else’s to do list for you”
I totally agree with this statement, and I have used email as my to do list for years. When I had Outlook I would flag items by color so I could easily sort and see what I still needed to complete. I really miss that feature (my current employer uses a different email system). @TMcDonough makes a great point – don’t let someone’s priorities overshadow your own. That’s not to say I don’t need to respond to those requests, that’s part of my job, but I don’t need to jump every time an email comes in and stop what I’m doing. I’m losing too much productivity time jumping around.
I’d love to hear more tips and suggestions on how you manage your time and prioritize your to do lists.