This was the first thing I did everyday ‘check my gmail inbox’, which is fine, but it has a habit of sucking you in and wasting a lot of your time. Before you know it an hour or so can just disappear and you feel like you have not accomplished anything.
I know it is important to check your emails, but it can sometimes be at the expense of your work. This post is about getting the most out of your day when you are working online to build a business. The more productive we are the quicker we can reach our goals, and all the noise that comes from our inboxes and social media can slow that productivity down.
The Inbox Devil
There lies a little devil inside our inbox and it goes by the name of procrastination, it will drip feed you plenty of distractions that will pull you away from the thing you want to get done most, your work. Its a clever little monster that plays with headlines and words to keep us moving on a pointless trip that spends time like water.
Most of us have several social media accounts and they normally send us notifications direct to our inbox, it is far to easy to click those links and take a look, then before we know it something else catches our attention and we are sucked into our timelines and what other people are posting.
We have all subscribed to many different email lists and these also contact us regularly, now whilst there is nothing wrong with this, they can also take up a lot of time and lead us down roads that can use up our time. The inbox is the place where all those that we have shared our email with can get our attention, and although this is a good thing on the surface, it can also drain our time.
Silence The Noise
Like I said, checking my inbox use to be the first thing I did after logging onto my computer. It seemed the logical thing to do, but I realized that it was taking too much time from my working day, so I took action on that inbox devil. I made a list of what my tasks were in my daily work, and then prioritized that list. My main goal was of course to get the work I needed to do on my business, done.
This was the priority and so it became the first thing I did after logging on, and checking emails was way down the list, so that had to wait until later on in the day. It was hard at first, you have that niggling feeling that you have missed something important, but I did not even log into my inbox until I had got my main work done first, and then when I did log in, there was nothing that was so urgent that it hurt my business.
Once you have done this for a while it becomes a habit and the niggling feeling goes away, but the result is that you get more work done and when you do finally check your inbox you do it with a sense of achievement having got your best work completed.
This does work on two levels ..
- You do not get distracted and waste time, or at least not until you have done your important work, and getting your work done early gets you better results, which is explained next.
- We all have more energy in the morning, and as the day goes on that energy gets spent, so if we get our important work done first, then we are doing it when our energy levels are at their best.
When our energy levels are at their highest, we are more effective and can get things done quicker, when we have no distractions we can concentrate on the task in hand and produce better work. Later on in the day when our energy levels have dropped we can still do the routine stuff because it takes less concentration and we have already completed our most important tasks.
A Better Routine
This is a better routine to master and will produce better results for your online business. It does take a little getting use to, and it is hard to start with, but if you stick with it, the amount of work you get done can increase dramatically. It is so easy to leave your work because you noticed another email has just dropped into your inbox and so you have to check it out, the temptation is to strong to ignore it, but all that does is distract you from what you are working on.
By not even logging into your inbox, stops those distractions and also all the social media platforms because most of the time we only go on them because we have had an email notification from one of them, or all of them. All this noise stops us from being productive and just by making this small change in our routine, we can get a lot more done.