The one thing you can do today to reclaim your time!
I’m dead serious when I say I can show you how to reclaim hours a week!! Think about this for a minute.
How many hours a day do you spend reacting to other people: answering questions, fielding phone calls, teaching or explaining something—and the number one culprit—checking your email?
Going throughout your day reacting to your surroundings puts you in a constant state of “multitasking.” There have been numerous studies that show multitasking is not actually possible. The constant state of switching from one task to another has been proven to reduce efficiency, mental performance, focus, and concentration—and actually creates stress and anxiety.
It’s also important to note that we waste time in more ways than we recognize. We tend to attribute time solely to the completion of a task. We fail to remember that we waste a great deal of our time simply thinking, worrying, or depleting valuable mental energy.
We all do this, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re thinking, “Goodness Morgan, that’s totally me. How much time am I wasting?!?”
You just need some good, solid organizational systems in your life and in your business!
Systems meaning: a process, routine, or simply a guide. Establishing effective and efficient systems can help eliminate the need for all that task-swapping and save you so, so much time. Time that could be better spent with family and friends, traveling, or just freaking relaxing.
Now, we all have our magical gifts. I discovered that somehow mine is problem solving and systems development. I’m not sure what it is exactly—my brain just seems to see all the puzzle pieces and how they fit together. It took me a while to recognize this as one of my super powers, but I sure am thankful I finally did. You know that real excited feeling Marie Kondo gets when she sees a mess? That’s how I feel when I see the potential for more efficient systems. I see opportunity to regain time, reduce stress and overwhelm, and develop a healthier lifestyle. Win, win, WIN!
So I’m sharing with you the one system you can adopt TODAY that will allow you to reclaim hours of your life. Okay, ready for it?
Only check your email twice a day!
That’s right. That’s it. That is all it takes. Only check your email twice a day!
That little voice in your head may be telling you this isn’t possible and that you have to check it throughout the day or things won’t get done. The good news—this is a total lie and I’m going to explain why. Consider how many times a day you check your email right now. For discussion sake we’ll look at a pretty typical schedule:
1) When you wake up
2) Some other time before getting to work
3) When you get to work
4, 5) Mid-Morning
6) Before lunch
7) After lunch
8, 9, 10) Afternoon
11) Before you leave work
12) Sometime before you go to bed
Now, let’s say every time you check your email you use at least 15 minutes of brain power, and that’s being conservative. That is 3 hours a day you spend looking/thinking about your email. That’s 15 hours a week—almost two whole work days—spent on email!!! What could you accomplish with all that extra time?
reclaim your time
The 2-Check Email Method
1st Check = in the morning when you start work for the day.
The key here is when you start your work day. If you check your email when you wake up or before you get to work, you’re going to be thinking about something you can’t deal with for at least two more hours. Not to mention, you’re robbing yourself of starting your day the way YOU want to. Mindset is everything!
Now that you’re at work and mentally prepared to respond, you can get caught up for the day. Add any necessary items to your to-do list and use this time to plan and prepare for your day.
Anyone chronically tap that “Mark Unread” button? (This used to be a big one for me.) Kick that habit! Don’t open an email until you are ready to take action. You are creating more work for yourself simply by reading an email more than once. Make it a goal to either respond or put an action item on your to-do list so it can be resolved later that day.
2nd Check = right after lunch.
After lunch you are refreshed and your brain has had time to recharge.
Respond to all emails you may have received since this morning, and use this time to wrap up your email for the day.
**Optional** 3rd Check = 30 minutes before you end your work day.
I say optional because I don’t believe this check is a necessity. Anyone that has emailed you is most likely also wrapping up their day. They won’t get the email until the next morning, so why not send it in the morning? There are always seasons that require a little more hands on communication and this 3rd check may be crucial for you. Otherwise, stick to the twice-a-day schedule.
If you use the third check, the important thing is to plan on this last check being about 30 minutes before you leave for the day. A lot of us will check as we’re walking out the door, and you know all it takes is one email and you’re stuck for at least another half hour. Like we already discussed, be intentional and give yourself enough time to respond.
As a business owner and a leader, it’s so important to prioritize yourself and how you spend your days. Time is such a valuable resource we tend to let slip away when we aren’t being mindful of how we use it. It may take you a couple weeks to really get in the groove with this, and that’s totally normal. But I promise you, you will be amazed by the mental weight that is lifted and how much more you will accomplish when you choose to reclaim your time!
I’d love to hear how this impacts your life and your business. Comment below or shoot me an email. I’d love to celebrate with you!