Looking back on 2017, and having had set the stage in this first month for what I want 2018 to look like, I've discovered ways in which I can be more productive. When I think about the opportunities I missed and struggles I faced in getting things done, I relate these issues to three areas of my daily life:
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I know I'm not the only one here! My business e-mail inbox receives, on average, 45 new e-mails per day! From coupons, to invoices, to newsletters, to client requests, the important items can easily slip away if my inbox isn't managed throughout the day. For better manageability this year, I am unsubscribing from all senders who's e-mails I rarely read, responding right away to important e-mails (even if it becomes an action-item that I can't complete right away), and archiving e-mails that need to be saved for future access. When archiving, I place them in applicable folders, keeping them organized. Doing this helps ensure your primary inbox stays clean - who doesn't get overwhelmed when they see hundreds (or thousands) of e-mails in their inbox!
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How easy is it to miss a bill, or a deadline that reaches your mailbox? Easy if you don't have a system of managing your incoming mail! Even easier when you have multiple household members checking and bringing the mail in the house. To make sure you don't miss something important, join me in touching every piece of mail as close to once as possible - drop the junk in the recycle bin at the door, open the bills and recycle the envelopes, schedule the payment or deadline, file the document, and be done with it!
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Incoming phone calls and texts distract us from what we are doing at the moment. Responding right away to these distractions can deter us from accomplishing our most important goals and tasks for the day. On the other hand, not answering can result in a missed opportunity, especially if we forget to reply at all. It's a delicate balance of staying on track and keeping up with new inquiries and other things increase our workload. Let's face it - the to-do list seems to only get longer; are you with me?!