When it comes to spring, we think spring cleaning. The annual ritual of renewal. As the hours of sunshine increase, we have the urge to clean away the remnants of winter. Windows, the garage, that storage area in the basement. But what about your desk, your agenda, your email? This post is about spring cleaning your schedule.
In my own burst of spring cleaning, I recently took stock of how much time I waste being unproductively busy. Daily tasks like deleting promotional emails from a hotel I stayed at 2 years ago in a city I don’t intend to visit again. Repetitive tasks which can be automated with technology. Picking at a project which could be accomplished more efficiently in one block of dedicated time.
I made some changes. I can’t quantify how much time I am saving each day, because recording and tracking that seems like another bout of busy-work. I feel more productive. I feel lighter. My schedule feels a little cleaner. Isn’t that what spring cleaning is all about?
Here are some tips on spring cleaning your schedule:
- Streamline incoming email: This is a pretty personal task, because you have to cut out what doesn’t matter to you. I unsubscribed from emails which sell me stuff, because I’m not much of a shopper. And of course, those promos for hotels I don’t see going back to.
- Zero email policy: The goal is to have an empty inbox at the end of each day. This is made easier with the streamlining, naturally.
- Block tasks: Instead of addressing email throughout the day, I address it in a block of time. I work through each one and respond or file. If one requires more than a few minutes to deal with then I’ll schedule that in my task list, and file the email.
- Block Distractions: When it comes time to hit my task list, I close off social media, the phone, and email so that I can focus on the project in front of me.
As with everything in life, this is an ongoing, evolving process. It is all a matter of streamlining and being more focused on tasks which bring value to your business and what matters in your life. What has worked for you? Please share!