Today I received 3 internet jokes, a video about my favorite band, 4 new LinkedIn connections, 3 new friends on MySpace and some great pictures taken by a good friend of mind that travels around the world.
I want to respond to all of them, but I know it’s going to affect my flow. What am I to do?
We have become a gadget-crazed world with an ability to stay connected globally 24 hours a day. Cell phones that can text, talk on their own, show videos, pictures and e-mail give us the ability to reach out and touch someone every second of the day. If you’re an entrepreneur it’s even more difficult because everyone wants something and no one respects your time. You need the help of others and therefore you feel obligated to respond.
Think about each task as a song. It’s hard to imagine going to a concert and in the middle of the performance, the band stops playing to take a call or answer an email. Every second of your day matters and what you do with your time can make a difference on your ability to be successful. Time management has taken a turn with 10 times the number of possible starts and stops while trying to complete something. Rain delays are going to happen, but everything else is under your control. I personally receive over 100 emails a day and about 50 calls per day and have been forced to build a process of prioritization.
What’s truly important?
1. Is this a family emergency? If so, respond immediately.
2. Is what I’m working on a personal goal? If so, don’t stop.
3. Is it clear how my response helps me or someone else? If it is not clear, don’t stop what you are doing.
4. Will the person that called or sent the correspondence take offense if I don’t respond? I really should not respond, even if I want to.
A good example is one of those internet jokes.
The value of time has become like gold, but you have to keep your value up. Time is the one thing you can’t get back, and it’s not on your side. So what do you do?
1. When you’re working, work.
2. When you’re with friends, turn the cell phone off.
3. When you’re with family, turn the cell phone off.
4. Take 45 minutes a day to look at the jokes, pictures and non-business e-mails.
5. When you are having lunch alone, let’s be real, you can’t turn off the phone.
6. When you’re working out, turn it off!
The bottom line is you’re really not going to miss anything but the opportunity to play your own song perfectly when you need to. It does take training, and I suggest if you can’t turn it off, turn it upside down. It’s your time, so use it wisely. I hope this newsletter adds more value to your time.