On this blog, we often talk about organizing space and things. From a project as simple as a junk drawer that provides a little calm in the chaotic kitchen, to a closet re-do that helps you get dressed easier in the morning, the feeling of being organized is definitely empowering.
The folks in the office often joke about how I am organized to a fault. I do admit, I do have a little bit of a compulsion in this area and love having a place for everything!
However, one thing I do poorly at is organize my time.
One example is in the office.
I am an email junkie. Self-confessed. Case in point for the madness:
–When I am working on a project and I see the envelope pop up at the bottom of the screen, I immediately go check Outlook to see if the email is urgent
–I carry my blackberry around all day long, keeping tabs on the newest messages that come in. I am ashamed to admit I sometimes do this in meetings while other people are talking which is a really bad habit.
–I sometimes have a hard time getting through my actual work to-do list because I am constantly answering emails throughout the day that pop up.
I have read a lot lately about the psychology around multi-tasking. We have learned to be such great multi-taskers in todays' time, but are we more productive? Many sources (see interesting article from AMA) say that actually doing too many things at once is counter-productive and then it actually takes more time to get all the items accomplished.
My morning routine is generally to go through my email first thing in the morning. On average, I usually receive 100 emails between 5:30pm and 8am, so the average time to plow through the pile is 1 hour.
This morning, I decided to try something different. I had a hot project that needed attention so I decided not to open Outlook until it was done. It only took me a half hour to do my project, and I felt remarkably good. I started my day with the first thing crossed off my to-do list before I opened Outlook.
As this relates to organizing my day, this month of June I am going to try to be conscientous of focusing on one thing at a time to see if this "organization of time" gives me the same empowering feeling that "organization of space" does. I'll let @rubbermaid (Jim) and @rubbermaiderin (Erin) give me a scorecard at the end of the month.
As I start this personal challenge, do you have any advice with how you either FOCUS or MANAGE EMAIL that can help me in this endeavor?