It was a warm Friday morning in Kona, Hawaii … and there I was eating my breakfast with five of my TLC friends.
Suddenly, that all-important topic of distractions came up. So I seized the opportunity to ask all five thought leaders the single most important entrepreneurial productivity question that I routinely ask my students, friends, colleagues and even my mentors.
Here’s the question:
“What’s the #1 distraction you inevitably face each day in your personal and professional life?”
They went five-for-five and gave the same answer. It’s the same answer I hear from my students. It’s the same answer I hear from my JV partners, my colleagues and even my mentors.
Survey after survey, Ask Campaign after Ask campaign … Email seems to be everbody’s undisputed #1 distraction in their personal and professional lives!
Imagine that? The #1 distraction entrepreneurs and thought leaders face today didn’t even exist for them a decade ago!
If “email” is a distractive productivity reducer in your life, then I have a time-proven solution that takes less than a minute to implement.
Your 3-Step Email Elimination Plan. It’s surprising to me how many ultra-successful entrepreneurs experience feelings of guilt, shame and even contempt for the number of emails that go unopened and unresponded in their inbox.
Guilt? Shame? Contempt? Wow! How can an innocent form of molecular communication originally designed for convenience create so much tension, stress and worry for so many people?
I have no idea how to answer that question, but I do have a simple 3-step process to do something about it.
If you have the courage to give this proven method a fair try, you can eliminate those unopened and undeleted emails -(and the negative feelings attached to them) in less than 60 seconds.
I do this every 30 days and I encourage you to do it too because it will liberate you and free your mind so you can get back to where it belongs – on revenue generation.
Step 1: Categorize your email messages in reverse chronological order (most recent at the top to the least recent at the bottom).
Step 2: Scan all of your messages for 45 seconds and makes certain there aren’t any critical ones you’ve opened, but didn’t respond to. Then, highlight all email messages (opened or unopened) that are over 72 hours (3 days) old.
It’s as simple as breathing so far, right? Well, step #3 isn’t as easy for most people I know and it’s the step that most peoples’ resistance kicks-in.
Step 3: After all non-critical email messages are highlighted, take a 10 second deep breath … and then take 5 seconds to put your index finger on the DELETE key and press it down firmly.
Uh, yeah … that’s it.
Any email that’s over 3 days old and goes unread or unanswered is considered a dinasaur in 2009 standards anyway. People who email you want responses and want them fast.
If you can’t please their need for urgency, delete them so you can remove any guilt, shame or contempt that accompanies your tardy response time. Look, if their email message is really that important to them, they’ll email you back again, right?
You’ll get a second chance to fulfill your 72-hour opportunity and you’ll do it stress-free!
If their request is ultra-urgent, then they can call you, right?
Bottom Line: This simple 3-step methods puts you back in control of your time because that’s what it is – YOUR TIME.
I even go a step further. Not only do I do this 60-second cleansing every 30 days or so, but I actually will change my private email address every year.
Working from a “Zero Base” email inbox means no leftover emails that cause me stress and worry. I typically read and respond, read and ignore or read and delete.
I know this sounds a little harsh if you’re used to lightness of being responsive to EVERYONE who emails you and that’s fine if you want to edit your success. The more emails you get, the less likely it will be that you respond to all of them.
If you decide to either respond or delete the inbox emails with ruthless compassion, I promise that you’ll feel more happy, healthy and free.
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