In a recent poll, many companies stated that their staff's overall time management has actually deteriorated over the last five to ten years. The single biggest reason that people have given is their Inbox. Are you one of a growing trend that is finding this?
Besides the growing number of people who have become addicted to mobile phones, particularly amongst the teen and young adult sectors which impacts especially on people's private lives, even the professional environment is being hindered by an increasingly active Inbox. This extends farther than just the younger group though. Almost anybody that uses a mail service can become hooked. Taking control of your Inbox is therefore imperative.
By asking yourself a few key questions, you might be able to ascertain if you are being ruled by your Inbox or if you rule it:
If your work emails are not accessible out of the office, is it the first thing you check upon arrival at the office?
If you do have access to work emails outside of the office such as on palmtops, are you then thinking about work all the time? Are you checking work emails at late hours?
Can you work with your Outlook closed? Or do you start to worry about it if it is not open? What might have arrived since you closed it? Is it urgent?
When open, are you constantly hitting Send/Receive or do you have the settings on so that emails are checked automatically?
If an email arrives, do you have to attend to it straight away or can you leave it until a more convenient time?
If you are answering yes to most of these questions, it is highly likely that your Inbox is ruling your life. Attending to things as they arrive rather than sticking to planned activities generally means a number of things can result - none of which make you more productive.
Being as efficient as possible means that you become better at managing your time. The demands for your time are only going to get greater as technology allows for more access to resources. Therefore, how you manage that time is going to become more and more important. Being efficient not only means that as much work can be done during your working day but less time is spent procrastinating as well.
By demonstrating good time management skills, rather than letting your Inbox manage you, means that you are on the road to a more productive work life. Consequently, your career opportunities, earning potential and overall happiness are enhanced. Taking control of your Inbox is vitally important and you should endeavour to do so.
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