Boost Your Productivity: 3 Simple Steps to Clear Communication Clutter
Melissa Galt is a national lifestyle designer, speaker, author and coach known for her comprehensive no-nonsense philosophy and approach working with clients and audiences to design their signature lives. Her mission since 1994 when she established her firm, is by using interior design and one’s interior surroundings as a spring board, Melissa empowers others to create their own signature life including focusing on their career, relationships, wellbeing, style, interior environments and legacy.
Now, before you go thinking I’m so organized and it’s easy for me because I’ve got a big team, let me correct your illusions and make an ugly confession. First when it comes to email, I don’t have an assistant currently, but tackle the daily onslaught of 500+ mails solo.
Second, I’m a creative at heart and love my open browser tabs. While I’d love to say I close it all up everyday, it would be a big fat lie. In fact, the confession is that my record of open tabs in Firefox, accumulated over days, weeks, and even months, is a horrifying 164. I know because my tech had to get in to my computer remotely one day and required me to close the browser.
I panicked because I was so sure I needed many of those tabs still. He pulled them all into a folder (yes, I do know how to bookmark), Firefox gave a count to my embarrassment, so I could peruse them later (hmm, I don’t have later anymore, I only have now with so much coming at me. Do you know what I mean?)
I knew and know there is a better way and here it is. (BEWARE, this is a bit hypocritical on my part because I strive for this, I’m not there yet.)
#1 Clear Your Email Daily. (YES, YOU CAN!)
This means that you need to either file it electronically, print it out (avoid whenever possible so you can be eco-friendly) and file in real time, reply and delete or reply and save to a folder, or delete permanently. Notice something important, I didn’t say forward or reply to all. I very rarely forward and get annoyed because way too many people forward junk. And, I”m completely trained out of “reply to all” because it drives us all crazy to get meaningless strings of replies to mails sent to vast numbers of people we don’t even know.
That’s it. This isn’t rocket science, your inbox is NOT a filing system, don’t make it one. (Your delete box isn’t one either, we’ll tackle that in a follow up post.)
#2 Clear and Close Your Browser Daily. (YES, YOU CAN!)
I am much better than I used to be. Now my maximum is a measly 15 opening daily instead of 160+. (Yes, I do know how to set it so Firefox will always open previous tabs, dangerous trick to know.) Still, it would be better to bookmark critical pages at the close of each day appropriately and start with a clean slate each morning. Can you do it?
Electronic clutter takes up brain space and mind energy, don’t get sucked in (the way I have.)
#3 Clear Your Voice Mails Daily. (YES, YOU CAN!)
Tell the truth, has your voice mail box ever been full? It drives me crazy when I get someone’s vmail in business and it says it’s full. I’m like what kind of superstar is this who is too busy to clear their vmails (or doesn’t have someone to do it for them.) That is just unprofessional in my book and you are likely to lose business.
Yes, you can save messages that you hold near and dear or back them up to your system or a cloud. You do need to clear messages daily so you can respond as appropriate and in a timely manner, and allow more opportunities to flow your way.
When you apply the simple steps here, even in part, you will encourage your creativity, generate more opportunities, and feel more at peace at the opening and close of each and every day. Letting go of the chaos and clutter that multiple channels of communication and exploration bring us will allow you the time and focus for fortune and fun.