So many people have reached out during the past week seeking advice for working from home.
As someone who has worked professionally from a home office for 26 years, I definitely have some thoughts to share. And you may be surprised about the first nugget of work-from-home wisdom. It has nothing to do with composing a top-three to-do list or getting out of your pajamas or even staying out of the snacks.
Rather, it involves the biggest time sucker we face each day: email.
As it stands, you and I spend more than 22 percent of our workday reading and writing emails. That equates to 11 workweeks a year. I can only imagine how that number is growing in the weeks many of us are working from our kitchen tables. Email is essential for communication during this time.
I challenge you to these two email disciplines:
1. Don’t check your email during your first hour at your desk.
This email management practice gets audible gasps when I share it during live seminars. But let’s just say your workday begins at 8 a.m., even from home. If you sit down and check email first, you may look up and suddenly realize it is past 10:00. Email can suck us down a black hole, and we get buried under other people’s urgencies. Rather, dedicate your first hour to productive revenue-generating projects such as drafting a proposal or finishing a marketing piece or calling clients or completing documentation leading up to a deadline. Once you have accomplished a big chunk of one of those projects, then open up your email account and let the fun begin.
2. While working from home, check your email at the same time every day.
I’ll share the schedule I’m currently using here:
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