“But my phone and e-mail is how I do business! What do you MEAN?”
Exactly that. The worst thing you can do in the morning, is open up your e-mail inbox. INSTANTLY – you have given up at least 1 hour of your workday, and your brain is now on everything else and being REACTIVE instead of being PROACTIVE and focusing on the top 3 things that week that would drive your business FORWARD.
There are always fires to put out, e-mails to be answered, phone calls to be returned… if you spend your time setting up systems and accomplishing your top 3 tasks (i.e.: Write up checklist for 5 routine procedures we must do in the office, set up newsletter to go out, contact 10 sources and make minimum 5 offers), even if they seem difficult, you’ve just moved yourself that much further to your goals.
What some very smart business people do that I have started to do, is I have stopped answering my phone except for confirmed phone appointments, and I return calls and voicemails only twice a day – usually around 11AM, and again around 4PM. This shows people my commitment to setting out to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself, and I always encourage they do the same. I also encourage them to e-mail. I like e-mail, as it forces people to get to the point of what they need, and it also allows me to respond quickly – or, if possible, someone else in my office can answer it, while I’m working on my priorities. I typically check e-mail in my “spare time” – which is in between blocks I’ve scheduled for myself to get things done. Which leads us to our next point…by