Yesterday I created a new intention: single-tasking.
For the next week I’m putting an intense focus on focus.
Juggling everything with MML, Jess LC, and BWI is a lot. Thankfully I have Kiley and Caitlin to help with Jess LC which allows me to focus mostly on the high-level CEO/designer tasks there. But I handle MML and BWI mostly on my own.
In order to guard my personal life and keep work from creeping into my nights and weekends as much as possible, I have set pretty strict boundaries for work. I do my best to regularly stick to a 10a to 5p weekday schedule. I’m not perfect at it, but I do a pretty good job most of the time.
In order to be as effective as possible during those workday hours I have tried to set boundaries on my email. More than anything else in my work/life balance, email has proven to be the single greatest area where I’ve noticed remarkable results.
The less I check email the less I have a problem responding promptly and staying on top of things.
I honestly have no real idea why this phenomenon is happening. But every time I’ve curtailed email, I feel dramatically calmer and more in control of email and work.
This summer my new breakthrough is realizing that my ideal email checking frequency is just three times a day. Or 15 times a week total.
Though I’ve never checked email as infrequently as 15 times in a week yet, I do think that if I can get to that point I would be 10 times more productive in my businesses.
You see very few of my emails, perhaps just 7% of them, actually have something to do with working on my businesses. 93% of my emails are about working in my business.
And though I do need to work in my business to make it function and run smoothly, the growth and productivity in my workday come from stepping away from my inbox.
So my new intention is to single-task throughout this week and next to reach my 15 inbox checks a week goal.
To be honest, I’m a bit scared to really attempt this… but I’m gonna go for it anyways. (Thankfully I have you here to help me stay motivated and accountable.)
Writing emails to grow the businesses or answering important time sensitive emails do not count in the 15 inbox checks. But any regular check is now going to be part of my 15 a week count.
Here’s what my new intention will look like on an average day: after I write my post here on MML I’m going to check my inbox in order to delete junk emails and answer emails that require a response. My goal is to answer each email right after I read it (I used to read emails all the time and then let them sit there for hours/days before responding). Then, once emails are answered and my inbox is as close to to zero as possible, I’m going to close my inbox and get to work on other aspects of my business. I’ll repeat this same process after lunch and right before ending the workday as well.
In order to track my progress this week in particular I’m going to make a note on my Teux-Deux list every time I check my inbox. So at the end of next Thursday I can see how close I come to my 15 a week goal.
Will I do this perfectly? Probably not. But I think this will be an interesting life experiment and personal challenge that will help me in my business immensely.
I’ll report back next Thursday on how it went!