Blog, Business

A Day in the Life of…

No one day is the same for me and that’s why I love what I do.

I’m going to walk you through my last working day.

We are usually awake for around 8am. Ian leaves for work at 7.30am so it’s just Jack and I. I make breakfast and drinks for us and we have a lounge around in bed for a while, watching some TV or reading a book. I start working at 9am. First order of the day is posting to social media platforms. I then check notifications to see if there are any urgent issues. I take Jack to pre school at 9.45am and then start on client work when I return. Currently I’m working on some social media accounts- reducing the accounts that a client is following and researching accounts she might like to follow. Lunch is 12pm.

For the first hour and 20 after lunch I check all 4 social media platforms. I set a timer for 20 minutes for each platform. I try to comment meaningfully on 3 posts and find new people to follow or connect with.

Then it’s back to client work. I spend time on a CRM project. My client sends updates after networking meetings on who he has met and sends photos of business cards to be uploaded.

3pm is time to fetch Jack. When we get home we have a snack and I check my notifications.

At 4pm Jack and I tidy up ready for Ian to get home at 5pm or we do an activity together- well try to anyway😊

5pm my work phone is switched off, I’m off for a soak in the bath with a book while the boys cook dinner.

What I do in the evening depends on whether it’s my turn to settle Jack or not. Ian and I take it in turns so we both get the chance to relax a little in the evenings or get a chance to do bath times etc. If it’s my turn to have the evening off, I’ll either work on the business with a movie in the background, read a book, bullet journal, sew…I’ve got lots of hobbies I like to get stuck into!

Would you like to share your typical day?

Blog, Business, Inbox Zero

Is it possible to achieve InBox Zero?

You’ve returned from your lovely sunshine break to an inbox is full to the brim. Cue overwhelm! Is inbox zero achievable?

Inbox zero is a phrase Merlin Mann devised 10 years ago to describe a completely clear inbox. The reality is that a 100% clear inbox is a difficult thing to achieve and trying to attain it can cause you a great deal of stress. With these simple steps you can start the journey to reducing that intimidating inbox:

  • Set designated times to read and reply.

This will depend on you and how you like to work. I tend to check first thing in the morning, after lunch and then again around 3pm. Set a sensible time limit each time, for example 15-minute slots. If you find you have distractions/interruptions then block this time out in your calendar.

  • Keep your inbox just for email.

Try not to use your inbox as a to-do-list. There are some great apps out there for this such as Trello, Asana, Wunderlist which are fully customisable.

  • Response time.

Aim to reply to business emails within 24 hours, personal ones within 72 hours.

  • Can you call?

Could you avoid lengthy email exchanges by telephoning/skyping the sender? A 5-minute telephone chat could save you both lots of time.

  • Set a target.

If you have hundreds of emails, then inbox zero is simply not achievable in one day. Set yourself a realistic target.

  • Folders.

Set up four folders:

  • Archive: completed emails that you need to keep
  • Delegated: sent to another member of staff to deal with but you still need to monitor progress
  • Awaiting response
  • Action needed

Move your emails to one of these folders if you’re not able to delete them.

  • Deal with urgent emails first.
  • Time specific/ Deadlines.

Decline or accept invitations to meetings/ events. If your email app/ program does not automatically update your calendar, then ensure you add or delete the event as needed.

  • No longer relevant.

Have you received emails regarding lost property or car parking that occurred while you were on holiday? Delete them- they aren’t needed.

  • Newsletters.

If you haven’t read a newsletter within a week, chances are you won’t find time in the future either. Send those unsubscribe emails to stop these unnecessary emails clogging up your inbox.

  • Forwarding.

If an email needs forwarding do it immediately and then delete it from your inbox.

  • Quickies.

If a response will take 2 minutes or less, then respond to it immediately and clear that email!

  • Group/ Project

If you’re receiving emails regarding a group or project that you’re no longer involved with then email the sender to request that you’re taken off the list and delete those emails!

  • Filters.

Going forward the best way of keeping your emails organised is to set up filters. This will mean the organisation is automated! Perfect! You can set up filters by sender, topic, all sorts. Once set up the emails will automatically bypass your inbox and land in the allocated folder. Set up of these filters will vary from app to app.

These are very simple tips just to get you started. If you need a helping hand with your emails/ inbox organisation, I offer monthly packages on retainer or ad-hoc First Aid for Email packages. Contact me if you’d like more details.

Christina Manson, Wing Woman and Productivity Coach

CJM Business Support

Originally published 03.01.2019 ©Christina Manson