Only check your emails twice a day – don’t respond each time you receive an email it wastes too much time!
Set up folders for your inbox so you can ‘electronically’ file your emails when you have completed them.
Set up rules within your email so messages are automatically filed for you to read later.
Use colour coding so you can quickly glance over your inbox and see which messages are important.
When you have read an email and actioned it – delete it.
Remove yourself from ezines or electronic newsletters you don’t read.
Set up spam filters on your email.
Create an email signature with your contact information so it automatically sends your details with your email.
Leave an ‘out of office’ message if you are away from your desk for more than 24 hours.
Record a voicemail to notify callers you will call back within 24 hours.
If you are busy all day, change your voicemail message to let callers know you will call them back the next day.
Include your email address in your voicemail for all phones so people can email you instead of leaving a message.
Avoid calling businesses between 10 AM – 2 PM as people are in meetings or at lunch.
Turn off your mobile phone if you are working on an important project.
Divert your desk phone to your mobile if you leave the office to avoid checking two voicemail systems.
Use the lift as your guide for turning your mobile on and off. When you are getting into a lift for a meeting, turn your phone off. When you leave the meeting to return to the foyer – turn your mobile on. This avoids the embarrassment of your phone ringing in an important meeting.
If you hate filing, allocate 15 minutes to do your filing every Friday afternoon. Whatever is left over can wait until the following Friday.
Label the outside of filing cabinets for quick reference.
File your manila folders in drawer alphabetically to help you find things quickly.
Use a label maker to keep your files tidy and easy to read.
Use coloured manila folders for different projects i.e. blue for staff, purple for projects, pink for personal etc.
Get rid of your in-tray – it is a holding area for paper. If you have to have one, put it out of your line of sight so you don’t get distracted looking at it all day.
Remove all unnecessary files and paper off your desk to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
Keep your desk clear so you can focus on the task in front of you.
Create a reading file and every journal and ‘FYI’ document you receive, pop in the file and read once a week.
If you catch public transport to work carry your reading file with you so you can maximise your travel time.
Get a cleaner for your house – pay someone else so you can enjoy your weekends.
Use couriers for odd jobs instead of spending your time driving and parking.
Order groceries and fruit online and have them delivered.
Stick a ‘No Junk Mail’ sign on your letterbox to avoid rubbish.
Open your mail over a bin so you can toss what you don’t need
Read your mail with a pen and make note on each document what action is required.
Pay your bills online to avoid cues and wasting your lunch times.
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