The irony of the concept of time is that it stayed the same as it is, but as it passes by our lives, it seems that it is slowly depleting. People now have more reasons and purposes to spend their time with, but there can never be ways to make more time, unlike money.
Grasping the concept of time can make you the best time manager. But this is very difficult to achieve, especially when the world is changing, the needs are growing, and our bodies aren’t as strong as before. Time is relative, it goes slower or faster, depending on how we feel about when it passes. An old adage, “so many things to do, so little time” is actually an implication of a hurried and fast paced concept of time. Unexciting or boring things can make time seem to pass by very slowly. But then, time is of the essence, and time is an integral part of our life.
“Work harder” is not anymore the mantra of most business people nowadays. In order to survive the valleys and oceans of time management, one must have the necessary skills in order to balance the real and essential, with the technological and convenient. Productivity isn’t just about doing multiple things at the same time; but rather it is simplifying how you work, and making it more efficient than time consuming.
“Working smarter” is like stretching a fixed budget; it is utilizing the time you spend on your workplace by scheduling, prioritizing, and setting considerate limits for workload. Effective time management skills can be achieved through experience, and a determined decision to be more productive with your tasks everyday.
Productivity and Time Management in Business
Our approach on improving productivity and time in the business is quite different from how it was with our daily lives. In our personal perspective, time management is dealing with emotional, pleasurable, and family oriented thinking. In the business, time management should be accompanied by cognitive, logical and fast thinking and decision making skills in order to achieve success with. Effective time management is a crucial skill, and it is necessary for each individual to have regardless of his or her status or role in the business organization.
Productivity is actually a choice; it constitutes that one must make smarter choices when it comes to what task or activity that will take your time with. Basically, productivity in the workplace is attributed to how many tasks you were able to accomplish with excellence, which can be on the basis of output, or its impact over a common goal. Productivity is the result of effective time management strategies. For most, it can be also achieved using technology based tools that can enhance our skills or assist us with those repetitive tasks that can be automated. Technology isn’t meant to replace, nor can never equal, a person’s judgement over business matters, but it can be an important aid to execute faster what we have in mind.
As an entrepreneur, this changing world can pull you in different directions. Though this is an inevitable part of doing business, one should not be intimidated by this kind of interruption that may steer you away with what your goal or goals are. Goal setting is one important foundational component of effective time management strategies. Goals serve as end lines, or visible signs that reminds you to run straight into the course.
Basic and foundational time management strategies should be at all times, be observed. Here are some techniques to get you started:
- Put your thoughts in a journal.
Your entry could be in any form; it can be a narrative, a checklist, or some random thoughts. Putting the things running in your head on paper can let you see your mind in another perspective, which can be more effective in eliminating unnecessary baggages from your system. It also lets you do some scheduling and prioritizing in the process, which can help get some focus on what is more important at a given time.
- Learn to prioritize.
From what you discover from your thought journal, you can build a hierarchical list of the essentials and non-essentials. This is actually unachievable in the first try, but making your list several times can make you think about what task you should execute on your most productive (or alert) hours, and which ones can be done on your downtime. Appointments and other business related commitments should be on top of the list, and being true to them can also positively impact your business.
- Start your day with a time plan.
We all make plans. There are short term and long term plans, which can influence our sense of direction and our decision making. The same holds true for making shorter term planning, which is for only the whole day. It will guide or limit your actions, and will also affect your productivity and downtime hours. Having a time outline of your typical or one specific day in the office can help you filter out unnecessary interruptions to take place.
- Block out distracting activities and things from your workplace.
Discipline is important in order to achieve your highest efficiency in the workplace. For some, it can entail some sacrifices or delays for personal pleasure. But somehow, do not overdo cutting some enjoyable activities and some relaxing while working, as this is essential in preventing stress and burnout. The rule of the thumb is to render the best and rightful for the company you are working for, and not to use its resources for your personal gain.
Practical Email Management
The email is one of the oldest forms of technological advancements in the field of communications. Emails are especially utilized in businesses, and for the longest time became the most preferred choice when it comes to formalizing the approach of customers, and when business is dealing with marketing media.
However, emails doesn’t just live inside the confines of an office desktop anymore, but were also migrated to mobile platforms. Both businesses and consumers can benefit from this, and became a practical aspect of using and accessing emails on a mobile device.
In 2015, a technology market research firm conducted a comprehensive survey about the adoption of emails for mobile use. Over the next four years, it was predicted that despite of the popularity of instant messaging and social networking, the growth of email accounts is steady, mainly because these communication systems require an email address to access their services. Even online commerce requires a valid email address to use.
Mobile email has reached 56% in terms of access, according to an email analytics conducted in April of 2016. It was reported that it represented a peak for mobile email usage, and its longest sustained growth so far.
Practical email management has gained so much support so far, which started with the advent of mobile email applications for use in smartphones and tablets. Business people can now have better access to their emails even when they are out of the offices. This way, there will be more time to devote to managing emails, lessening the likelihood of backlogs and email overload.
Business Email Management
(The points tackled under Practical Email Management were also subsets of business email management. But for the sake of emphasis, it is better to let it focus on the use of mobile email applications.)
Business email management focus on gaining better productivity while you address your email inbox. Let us iterate some of the strategies which can be beneficial in deploying an effective email management system in the business:
- Checking Email
Keep your email system on a manageable level by making a regular habit of checking it every day. While this is quite challenging since we should be focusing our time on core tasks instead of the ones for support, doing this can significantly impact your productivity in the long run.
A sound strategy to do is to set some specific points within the day where you can focus on seeing the contents of your email inbox. It may also be helpful if you will make a set of rules concerning your access and response to emails, which also need to be informed to people you mostly interact with. As an alternative, and for immediate concerns, you may suggest that they use instant messaging or the telephone in order to reach you right away.
- Reading Email
This may constitute longer periods of time, since this is when you “consume” the contents of your email. The key here is to make smarter responses and action by dealing with short emails first, and classifying those that are more elaborate and adding them into your ”To-Do List”. This way, you can be saved from being overwhelmed most of the time with the volume that you see in your email inbox.
- Organizing Email
This can significantly impact how you deal with your emails in general. It is best to deploy email tools, such as an email tracking software and email management tools in order to make more efficient classification and sorting of your emails, that is also faster since it is automated.
- Establishing Rules
An email management software can deploy a certain set of criteria for automatic sorting of incoming emails into its corresponding folder. An email tracking tool can return a read receipt upon the discretion of the sender. Though a technology aided rule establishment, organizing your emails won’t be as time consuming anymore.
Salvaging Your Email Inbox
After all of the productivity hacks mentioned, still, you find your email inbox on the verge of giving up on you, and you are about to give up on it too. Before succumbing to this merciless feat, try these steps for salvaging your email inbox:
- Segregate your emails by classifying each into broader categories like “Personal”, “Subscriptions”, or “To-Do”. If you find these too simple for your preference, you may instead group emails according to the projects you work on.
Email segregation can be done either manually, or automatically. Since we are dealing with an existing chaos, it would have to be the manual method that should be done first. After initial cleaning, then the automatic method could be applied for a more manageable inbox in the subsequent days. This could be done through the use of an inbox management software for large scale email servers, or by enabling your email filters when dealing with a low key email account.
- Unsubscribe to least important email subscriptions, right now.
- Unsubscribe to social media accounts’ email notifications, right now.
- Start optimizing the use of your email account for sending messages. It is time to use other available communication channels, depending on the need or urgency of the message.
Email Management Tools at Work
There are a number of useful applications for email management tools apart from segregating your emails and organizing your email inbox. Included, but not limited to, are the following:
- Electronic document records, or back up
- To make emails as references, or supporting evidences
- As a printable record of conversation
- Implies formality in correspondence
- Sharpens your communication skills
- An email tracker software, which can follow the journey of the emails you send towards its intended recipient. Using this tool, the sender can now if the recipient has already opened the email, as well as its attachments. This is particularly useful in gaining metrics or measurements involving marketing campaign effectiveness through the number of email clicks and attachment downloads.
A top email tracking software can help marketers make effective email marketing content that interests and engage its recipients.
Hone your time management strategies the way top email management tools do. To further convince you on getting one, read on reviews of email tracking software and email management tools.
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