By Linda Owens, President
This is the second in a 2-part series about productivity based on a recent Association Chat (#assnchat). Click here to read part 1.
Read below for more helpful thoughts about productivity from the IMI staff.
Q5: Do you keep your inbox at 0 emails, like some productivity experts suggest? If so, how? If not, why not?
- Almost – I try to keep sent and inbox at under 20 emails each. I answer quick emails immediately and save emails to the server that have important info but require no action. I use flags as reminders.
- I do not keep my box at 0 but I like to keep it as clean as possible. I keep items in my in-box that I need to do or follow-up on later. I also use categories and flags to make it easy to find anything in my inbox.
- I really, really try to keep my inbox at 0. I delete what has been handled and change action items into tasks.
- I “try” to limit my inbox only to those emails that require an answer or follow-up by me
- I try to keep 0 emails in my inbox by moving items to the task area, the calendar, and or saving the message in a folder. If I am unable to keep my inbox clear every other Friday I go through and move items out of my inbox.
- I like to keep my inbox clean, and only keep emails in my “inbox” that I have not completed or I still need. Once I have completed a task I file the email away. I do not delete any emails. I also move emails older than a year in the archives.
- For the most part I have my inbox to 0 before I close for the day.
- Sometimes it gets to 0 but my goal is to at least tackle all the new ones each day.
- I keep my inbox at 0 unread emails. Everything is read and triaged (I color code with urgency, emails that are awaiting responses, etc.).
Q6: Where do you turn for advice about productivity? What are some of your go-to resources?
- Some great articles pop up on my LinkedIn
- I ask fellow co-workers to help me not reinvent the wheel on developing plans or documents that have already been used and approved to work.
- I don’t have a go-to for productivity resources. I try to read articles and anytime I see information in online, in print, or word of mouth I determine if I can incorporate the suggestion into my system to further enhance productivity.
- I like to learn new features of the software I use, like Outlook and Excel, for new ways to better organize and manage my day.
- Coworkers have helped me greatly and so have webinars on Outlook productivity.
Q7: Complete this sentence. “For me, the most important thing to remember about productivity is _______________________.”
- Because, productivity is not just about getting things done. It is about getting things done more efficiently and remembering that there will always be more things to do then there is time in the day.
- If you are productive, it leaves more time for enjoyable things.
- That you eat an elephant one bite at a time. This helps me not to get overwhelmed with big projects and keeps me moving forward.
- I can only do one thing well at a time. Multi-tasking or hurrying can often lead to mistakes. I have to s.l.o.w. down and just do one thing at a time.
- To stay focused on the current task.
- It is not about an empty “in box.” It is about using the time you have available to accomplish the tasks which are most closely aligned with your success as you define it.
- Focus and the ability to stay on task without distraction, especially social distractions.
- Knowing what you need to do and when it needs to be done.
- Quality accomplishment of tasks on or before deadlines.
- Prioritizing projects and staying on top of deadlines.
- Quality over quickness.
- Being “busy” is not the same as being productive.
- Keeping the quality along with the speed.
Q8: Do you do things for your health in order to improve your productivity? (Ex., take supplements, exercise, eat right, etc.)
- Exercise and yoga help me let go of work. Reading, both for pleasure and for knowledge. Eating healthy. When I start to feel overwhelmed or can’t sit any longer in front of my computer screen I get up and take a quick walk to clear my mind and re-gain my focus.
- Nothing gets the day ramped up like my 6 a.m. spin class!
- Get 8 hours of sleep! If I find I’m losing focus while working on a project I push away and go work on something else or walk around for a few minutes.
- I take a break sometimes just for sanity, walk around, get some sunshine.
- Exercise, absolutely. Clears the cobwebs, stretches the limbs and makes sitting back down at your desk more comfortable both physically and mentally
- Yes, yes, yes and yes. Get up and walk away from your desk at least every 30 minutes.
- A daily walk of 30 minutes is key. I decided not to allow other’s personalities to affect me personally so I wouldn’t take their attitude to heart.
- I am one to just power through until it all gets done or I have just worked until I can’t work anymore. (Not the greatest for one’s health, I know)
- Sleeping more hours each night, eating healthier, nutritional supplements.
- I exercise, eat right, drink water, supplements.
- I do things for my health, not for productivity. My body serves me first.
- Yes, I exercise, take supplements, eat right, and take breaks.
We hope you enjoyed IMI’s in-house #assnchat. If you haven’t tried #assnchat on Twitter, give it a try! You may find answers to questions you didn’t even know you had.