20 Days To Improve Your Business

Each Monday we focus on one activity you can do today or  over the next week to build yourself a  better business.  These short, actionable posts will show you what steps you need to take to take your business to the next level.

In case you’ve missed the previous posts, you can catch up here: 20 Days to Build A Better Business.

This is Day 3: Don’t Check Email First Thing

When you start work and power upon your computer, chances are that the first application you open or the first website you visit is your email.

What happens next can determine whether you have a productive day or a terrible day.

” My momma always said, Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

Forrest Gump (1994)

Which is just as true for email as it is for life. When you open that email inbox, you never know what you’re going to get. Customer requests, complainst, employee holiday requests, supplier invoices, emails from friends…whatever.

Like most people you either scan the emails and open the most interesting looking or you attack them one at a time.

Before you know where you are you reacting to whatever event has popped into your email box and your original plans for the day have gone by the wayside, and you’re no longer being productive. More importantly, you’re no longer in control.

Sound familiar?

Don’t Check Email First Thing

Instead of checking email first thing focus on completing a  task off your task list first. Not only will you have a sense of elation from having achieved something on your task list, it will also take you one step nearer to achieving your goals.

So, for the first hour of each day, resist the temptation to open your email and focus instead on one of the tasks on your task list. If you can manage to resist for longer than an hour, so much the better. If you can’t then at least an hour should be manageable for most people.

But if you struggle to fight the urge to stick to a time limit, then focus on the achievement of tasks, even if it’s just one task, complete the task then let yourself loose on the email.

Before you know it, gone will be the days when you end the day saying I don’t know what I’ve done all day. You can point to at least one thing, safe in the knowledge that the one thing is taking you towards your goals and  taking your business to the next level.

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