(image by juhansonin via Flickr)
One of the smartest things you can do to avoid wasting a lot of attention and energy on setup time is to batch up similar tasks and tackle them all in one go.
Getting ‘in the zone’ with something takes some time, so if you’re already in that zone, it’s a good idea to keep going. That’s precisely why I recommended ‘batching’ all of your emails into just a few periods each day.
It’s particularly useful if you’re working on something that requires a lot of background paperwork or files to be available since half the time and hassle is in finding the right bits of information to refer to.
Doing all of your sales or client development work in one go also gets you into the right mindset to make better in-the-moment decisions about the language you use or your general approach – you may even be able to cut and paste snippets of information from one email or report to the next.
Handling a whole series of calls at the same time not only means you’re in the right mode to make calls, but you can also use it as an opportunity to get out of the office and get some fresh air. Batching enables you to generate a sense of flow that gathers its own momentum; you’ll find that you’re far more productive than if you were simply moving from one task to another.
Also try: Email sub-folders – how many do you have?