If you are a regular reader you’ll know I have been de-cluttering my life. Over the past few months I have given / thrown away and sold so many things…I really don’t know where I kept it all.
And I made approx. $500 just by selling a few things that I no longer wanted or needed, on eBay.
If you are really interested in what I have decided to remove from my life go here:
Clutter Can Hold You And Your Business Back
I believe having loads of ‘clutter’ in your life…slows you down and can be very distracting.
But what I am about to reveal can help you save time and reduces distractions!
My wife and I recently returned from vacation.
Normally, we just fly somewhere and stay in that same place for 2 weeks.
This year we decided to have a ‘driving’ holiday.
We drove through France and Germany to Switzerland. Then back through Germany, Luxemburg and Belgium.
It was great fun.
Wind in our hair (we had the windows down!), sunny weather, awesome scenery and listening to our favourite songs on the stereo. (I’m into Cee Lo Green at the mo!).
Being on vacation can be hard when you own your own business.
Will you lose out on gaining new customers?
Most probably, as you may not be in a position (whilst on your vacation) to discuss requirements, provide quotes, etc.
Will you lose your existing customers?
I give my current clients approx. 4 weeks’ notice that I am going on vacation – so we can plan any work that needs doing before I leave.
Will you have thousands of emails to read when you return?
500 Emails A Day
I receive 500 emails every day. And with 14-days’ vacation…that makes 7,000 emails.
Of course the vast majority of these are spam and they can be deleted.
But many are not.
Some are from prospective clients, some for existing clients…and many from email lists I have subscribed to.
Well…to keep on top of these daily emails…I did take my NoteBook on vacation and check them (most days).
(I know what some of you are saying…”Idiot!”, “Sado!”, “You are on holiday for Christ’s sake!”).
But I look at it another way.
If I can spend 15 minutes going through my emails each day…when I get back I will be less stressed, less overwhelmed and be able to catch up on my workload much more quickly.
At home, I have fast internet (up to 50mb)…so going through the emails doesn’t take long.
But while on vacation, very often the hotels you stay in have slow internet and just reading emails can take a long time.
It was taking me a lot longer than 15 minutes but there was a ‘silver lining’.
As I say, at home I have fast internet and I quickly skip though the emails.
On vacation, it was taking 3…4…5 times longer and I realized how many different email opt-ins I subscribe to. Emails I just don’t read. Emails I would normally just delete.
Whilst on vacation I decided to opt-out and I must have unsubscribed from about 50.
You see…when working from home, the internet is so fast…I just skip through all the emails I subscribe to…without really thinking.
In the hotels, it was taking quite a few seconds to go from one email to another…so it made me think. It made me unsubscribe!
Now I do receive fewer emails, each day and have a little more time to do other things.
So, my advice today…
Remove yourself from those emails you have subscribed to…obviously the ones you no longer read and save time.
And one more thing that saves a huge amount of time
I didn’t miss anything by only reading my emails once a day.
If you are anything like me, you read your emails every couple of hours of so…even if in the middle of a large piece of work.
Well I don’t do that now.
Just twice a day…in the morning and late afternoon.
I have saved so much time!
Have you subscribed to too many opt-ins over the years?
Do you keep your opt-ins down to a minimum?
Do you read your emails 50 times a day or just twice?
How do you save time?
Please share your views in the comments below.
Great to have you back Andrew. Sounds like you had a great time on your holiday.
Anyway as for my emails. I will check on them in the morning and than right before i close down for the evening. To me most of the emails are like junk mail. Except they need to find a way to recyle them. LOL Just a thought. Yes, I know they are not objects themselves like a recyleable newspaper, but it was fun saying it.
I do have to work hard on the dejunking in the house an also cleaning up fills on my computer.
Thanks for sharing
Great to hear you are so ‘strict’ on when you read your emails. That’s good.
Yes…dejunking your pc – one thing I think we could all get better at!
Dear Andrew –
I am compulsive about throwing stuff out. I even throw the daily paper out right after I read it.
And anything that is in the refrigerator that is over three days old.
But, I am going to start unsubscribing. That is a great idea. Never thought about it. I get mail from people I never subscribed to though. So much spam.
As Debbie said, you have to keep on top of it or it is overwhelming.
I don’t think you lost business while you were gone. It was pretty slow – especially in the US – with holidays and school starting.
Besides, everyone knows they better wait for you if they want things done properly.
Your last setence made me really laugh out loud…that was nice of you to say so.
And…yes start unsubscribing…you could save a lot of time.
I realize that the things with the most distractions are those linked online. Anything to do with social media can steal time. Unless u have the discipline you will invariably click on links. Once you start doing that you are gone. New pages always looks appealing with more goodies to check out. So the key is to just focus on your main objective. Why did you log on in the first place? Clear you emails? Not browse.
Personally for me I still check emails three times a day. But when I am writing for example, I don’t even log on to my mail. No
pop ups and reminders to check out. Another way is to deny yourself Internet access till you are done.
You must have really enjoyed your vacation, nice post out there. I’ll try to practice that. It’s just so hard to disassociate yourself from your emails since it will just increase in multitudes,if you do so! Many thanks for sharing your ideas.
I really always admire and appreciate your hard work for your clients or i can say your smart work,i think mostly business people will lose out on gaining new customers when they went out for vacations.After all everyone is not as much smart as you and i am the one from them…..:-).I wasn’t think before like unsubscribing those emails which i don’t read,actually they create a lot of mess in my inbox and it needs a more time for me to read genuine emails.Its a good trick for saving more time.And one thing more which i don’t have and that is 50mb internet connection.Now i should upgrade it.You always taught me some great ideas Andrew whenever i came here.Thank you for sharing such a great,valuable and considerable content with us.
Good Luck and God Bless!
These are both things that I strive to do, but not as well as I should. Another good tip is not checking e-mail until lunchtime which let’s you do “your” stuff first. Otherwise it’s easy to react to other people’s sense of urgency instead of your own.
I did subscribe alot of sites and i dont read them so its a good advice to unsubscribe them , i also check my mail box every like an houre or so to catch up but i cant help it , its just become a habit . but these are good tips that i need to implement thanks.
Sounds like you have a fun vacation. I hate clutter, you gave some great tip to save time. Email is a big time waster when checking in on it ever couple of hours, which is something I do all the time. Thanks for the tips.
I can relate to what you do on your vacations because I do some similar thing. In fact, a couple months ago when I was on vacation with my family, I was relaunching my site from a static site to a blog. I already had a couple of posts prepared before I left, so it wasn’t that difficult for me to make a few posts while I was gone. I usually have my computer with me anyway so that I can download pictures that I take from my camera, and since I’m usually up later than everyone else in my family, I used the time after they go to sleep and before I go to bed to check mail and anything else I needed to.
I try to keep my opt-ins to a minimum and try to only check My e-mail once or twice a day.
something I’m experimenting with to save time is using voice, the patient software such as Dragon speak naturally to type out what I want to say, instead of having to type it. it does take some time to train, but once it is trained, it is a bit faster than typing.
Thanks for sharing!
It helps every once in a while to take a break and go on a vacation. It’s nice to be driving around Europe, it’s a great way to de-stress. Prioritizing really is the key to save time. I don’t spend too much time on the things that are less important to me. I often check emails while eating my snack or lunch, multi-tasking as they call it:) And I agree with you Andrew, I just have to unsubscribe from those emails that I am not interested with anymore for they take too much space on my inbox and will take too much of my time if I read them one by one.