Schedule your email. Stop multi-tasking. Eliminate distrations.
Don't I wish. Easier said than done, right? These are just 3 of the 7 things highly productive people do according to an article by Ilya Pozen on Inc.com (http://www.inc.com/ilya-pozin/7-things-highly-productive-people-do.html).
As service providers, it's almost unthinkable to let a ringing phone go to voicemail. Or to check your email only 2 or 3 times a day. But how can I really get things done if I answer every call and check email every 15 minutes?
I'm no expert and have decidedly not implemented these steps fully or at all in some cases. I've tried time blocking and other methods to get more organized and efficient, but I have an uncanny ability to postpone things or allow priorities to get adjusted when something should be done that I don't want to do.
Time Management is a term we have all heard for a long time. But I think it's a misnomer. No human can manage time. Albert Einstein played with time, but eventually was the victim of it (he's dead).
The real issue is Priority Management. I am in charge of my priorities. I can decide what I'm going to do first, last or never. So at any point in time I should ask myself, "what's the most urgent thing that needs to be done right now?" Then I should do that thing. How often do you think that hitting the Send/Receive button in Outlook will be the top priority?
One of the best things I have done is start using the Task List in Outlook. This allows me to keep a list of things I need to do and assign a date and/or time to do them. But the best thing is that if I don't get that item done (unlikely since I never procrastinate...yeah, right!), it automatically rolls over to the next day. I can't get rid of those pesky To Do's unless I purposely delete them or mark them completed. I have some peace of mind knowing that I'm not letting things fall through the cracks. I'm just widening the cracks for fit more To Do's which I may or may not complete at some indeterminate point in the future. But at least I'm aware of them and have to consciously choose to do them or not.
So I'm curious about what you have done to become more efficient, effective, and prioritized. What tools, tricks or techniques do you use to get things done and not walk out of the office at the end of the day wondering what you accomplished?