Are you a slave to your email inbox?

accountant calendar email task management Aug 10, 2020

Do you find that you struggle to focus on the stuff that you need to get done and constantly distracted by emails, by notifications, by phone calls coming in?

Well, you're not alone and I came across a technique that I have implemented that has massively helped with productivity and I wanna share that with you today. That technique is to live life by your calendar and not your inbox.

You see, with all the wonders that email has brought, it's also one of the worst things ever invented, given the way we use it today. We give ourselves a false sense of accomplishment that we have cleared our inbox and we have responded to everyone in quick time, but actually, your inbox is a place for someone else's agenda and us spending time on our inbox takes us away from the stuff that we ought to be doing, the stuff that's in the non-urgent, but important quadrant and that's how we find that. We don't meet the need of forwarding our business because we're too busy firefighting, dealing with emails, dealing with client queries, with employee queries. We get distracted by notifications and we never end up being focused on what we want to achieve.

By living life by our calendar, we are then forced to put in all the things that we want to achieve in our calendar, so not just appointments, but all the projects that you want to complete, all the blog posts you want to write, all the videos you want to create. Put time aside in your calendar for them. Even so far as putting your social engagements in there, spending time with your family, all the things that are important to you should be in there. Even spending time on social media or spending time on Netflix. It's easy to get in a blur with home stuff and work stuff and we're all knocked down working from home, but it's not a bad thing to use social media.

The negative aspect comes when we get distracted by social media, when we get distracted by Netflix and that's why, when using it, use it with intent. Put time aside to say that I will go on social media, but I won't go on it until this time has elapsed and I have done x, y, and z.

You see, we guard our assets so carefully, such as our property and our money, but the one asset which has a finite life, we let anybody access to and that asset is our time. All the calls coming in, all the emails coming in, all the notifications coming in, we don't respect our time, but it's time to take back control of our time.