“My NIGHTMARE is the phone and e-mails…ARGH!”

It seems impossible to deal with phone calls and emails during work, since we can’t control other people’s actions. We can’t tell them (most of the time) to stop calling us or stop emailing us junk stuff that take us so much of our time to sort them through or delete them.

In fact, I’ve got some email accounts where I receive over 100 messages daily. If I was there to sort them through and delete them each time, my day would be gone by just checking, deleting and sorting emails.

The biggest problem is that NOT all emails are junk, and sometimes we may expect something important to come along. Often times we check emails periodically, and if it is done longer enough, becomes a habit.

Habits are not broken very easy. It takes time, about a month, to break a habit and do something else. Plus, habits aren’t broken without resistance. We tend to resist things that aren’t part of our routine.

That’s why in this article, I am going to show you some effective ways to minimize certain unproductive, habitual, behaviors related to phone call and email distractions. You want to organize your work in a way that allows you to get only a fair amount of phone calls and email messages, or even not getting any at all.


Handling the Tornado of Phone Calls

So, here are some ideas that you can use right away to eliminate phone interruptions while you are trying to work.

1) Use the phone as a business tool. We do not want to “socialize” on the phone while we are working. If happens that you pick up the call by accident, make it quick. Let the other person know that you can’t talk right now, but they can call you later, if it is not business related phone call. The best time use the phone as a business tool is different for many people, depending on your available time and nature of your work. I find a good practice to get in quick conversations on the phone from 9am – 5pm. Throughout this time, get on and off the phone fast.

2) Have another line (if you can) where you get only business calls. Do not share the business line with friends and family. Mixing the business with the personal life may lead to major disasters, like losing friendships and loved ones – these are extreme cases, but business world is different from the personal world. And there must a clear distinction between both, if you want to “play safe.”

3) Have you calls screened. Find out who it is calling you, before you answer the phone. Then ask yourself, “What would happen, if I do not answer to that person?” If the answer is nothing, or if you do not expect something important from that person, then leave it to the voice-mail. Overcoming the tendency to be “curious” about who’s calling you is going to SAVE a lot of time. Find out WHO and WHY are calling you, before you answer the phone.

4) Have your calls on hold. It is necessary to have periods of NO INTERRUPTIONS. If you do not, you become a “slave” to the ringing phone. Let’s say you do not take interruptions from 9-11am or for some other one or two hours period of time throughout the day. This is very important, because you want to focus on longer chunks of time if we really want to get anything done. Sometimes you need to shut down the world, for one or two hours, to get the job done. That’s a fact, not a suggestion.

5) Set a time where you can call back when you get missed phone calls. This is critical, we want to set a time aside, let’s say from 12-1pm (launch time) or after launch time to get back phone calls in the voice-mail that we intentionally missed previously.

6) Set time aside to receive phone calls. You may unplug the phone all the time, and receive calls only at certain periods of time, at your convenience.

You may also consider answering the phone between 1pm – 2:30pm only, depending on your available time throughout the day. It is best, if you have only 2 hours per day to answer the phone, everything else should be forwarded to your voice mail, that’s especially if you get a lot of phone calls per day. 

7) Plan your calls in advance. Think about the call, what’s the purpose of it? What are your intentions, why you are going to do it? Think of the call as a meeting. Before you meet someone, you have some expectations from that meeting. You may even want to write out an agenda or an outline of the call, before you call, just as in a meeting. So that the call do not get longer than expected.

I used to call people, just because of the sake of it, based on an emotional whim. This is a real time waster, and during the “work time” we want to stay away from that tendency.

8.) Finally, take careful notes on important conversation. If you can record the conversation, if you are using Skype or any other software line this. This is very useful, because most of the time we miss some important points of the call, as we hear it ones.

9) Outsource the demanding phone calls or redirect all phone calls to another line where someone handles the phone calls for you, before they come to you. It is a great filtering mechanism.


Handling The Email Tsunamis

Now, let me give you some tips to handle the emails. Again, you may use any of them, if you want to get better results.

1) Stop checking emails early in the morning. As we begin our day with checking emails, we are going to get absorbed by it – guaranteed. We are fresh in the morning, and when we sit down and begin checking emails, we often forget about the wasted time, and before we know it 1-2 hours of the day are already gone.

2) Create business emails, like yourname@yourcompany.com. Google has a great service that handles your business email needs, it is about $50 per year. Here’s more info about it.But if you just want to mask your email to look professional, there’s a way to do it with Gmail. This requires some technical knowledge, and having a hosting account. You need to get access to the C-Panel.

The procedure is simple, you create a FREE Gmail account. The user name can be anything, it won’t be displayed on your business email. Then, you have to go in C-Panel (in your hosting account) and add an email account with the desired name in it. Some hosting companies have a webmail login, where you can actually login to your business email account from the C-Panel. However, I prefer using Gmail for that purpose. You can connect your Gmail free account with your business hosting email account, where you can just mask the Gmail account with your business email name.

You can do this when you log-in into your Gmail account, then go Settings -> Accounts And Import -> Send Email As -> Edit Info (Here you can add your business email that’s going to be displayed every time you send emails through that Gmail account). It requires confirmation that you are the owner of that business email account. Send the confirmation, and confirm it when you logging to your  webmail client in C-Panel. Open that email confirmation email Google sent you,  and confirm it. That’s it.

Send a test email to your regular email account and see how it works in case you screwed up somewhere to correct it.

3) Create free email accounts that serve a specific purpose. For example, you want to have a separate email account that handles specific issues. You do not want to use just one email account for everything. How do you suppose to manage all those email accounts? Well, I use software called Roboform, that handles all passwords for you, it keeps them save, and remembers them.

If other person is using your computer, they can’t access your passwords, if they do not have your password that locks all other passwords within the software.

You can auto-login and auto-generate the login fields in any email clients without even typing the user name and the password. You do not even have to choose the same passwords for all email clients, since it is not easy to remember them all, but Roboform does a pretty good job at remembering and protecting all of your passwords. Get a FREE trial here.

With this software, you can manage everything that requires a login and password, not just email accounts.

So you can create one email account for your affiliate communications, one email account for support or help desk, one email for “info section” within your site, one email account for your newsletter and everything else that has separate departments within your business.

Use every email account for a specific purpose,  no more than 1-2 topics per email account.

4) Do not share your email all over the place, since you can get into the list of some spammers that distributes your information all over the place. This is not only illegal, but also it is counter-productive. In cases that you really want to share your email address to sites that requires it for getting more information etc, see if they are CAN-SPAM compliment, and check their privacy policies.

5) As you browse through your inbox, see for “unknown e-mails” – if you get emails from people that you know. Delete them, do not even bother opening them. We have to kill the tendency or curiosity to open every single email we receive.

There’s a potential danger of viruses and unknown bugs that can damage the information in your computer. Open emails only if you know the sender. This is not only going to save you more time, but also, you are going to be protected from harmful applications.

If you really want to get your time management handled, and become more productive when it comes to performance management, subscribe to my email newsletter for better and faster results. As you get to know me better, you’ll learn counter-productive ways to become more productive, things that nobody talks about. At the beginning of this article, there’s an opt-in form, put your first name and email address correctly to get you started.

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My guess is that you are trying to make some money online so that you can pay all the debt there is, and paying the bills that are coming along the way on top of that. Simply, you can’t rely on the today’s economy, and finding a stable job, regardless of the skills or the experience you have. So you get running a lots of websites, and putting some ads on them with the hope of making at least a dollar per day for each one of them…


…If This Above Does Not Sound Like You, Then This Article Is Not For You

In this article, I am going to show you a way to be more focused at your work, and finally get out of debt as a result of your efforts. Why is it important to listen to what I am saying here, you do not know me, and you do not know if you can trust me? That’s true, and I understand that. Let me tell you a quick story.

Few years ago, when I built my first website, I saw a great opportunity on creating websites and adding some ads on them to generate some revenue. And I told to myself, well if that’s possible, then I can quit my job, and do this full time. In fact, I thought to myself that the more websites I create, the more money will come. Or the more sites I create the bigger the chance to make money online. It is cheap to register a domain name and today you can create a website for free with “ready to go” themes by using the WordPress platform.

Hell, I can create a WordPress blog in just 2 minutes, just 3-5 clicks away, without worrying about programming code and other technical complications like that…


And I Started Creating Lots Of Sites, Something Happened…

The more websites I created, the lesser time I had. The more sites I’ve got, the more I couldn’t manage them, it required a lot of work (most of which I postponed, because it seemed “too much”). Then I realized that having many websites wasn’t only losing your focus on things, I couldn’t keep up with everything, but also they did not make any money at all. There was no traffic, and people on those sites.

No Traffic = No Visitors = Nobody clicks on the ads.

If you are experiencing the same thing, perhaps, you should re-think your strategy and focus on only 1-2 sites at a time. Get involved in only 1 niche, the thing that you are interested the most, and forget about the rest. The biggest lie out there is that if you push hard enough and long enough, eventually you’ll get it. Well, that’s not correct, because the real definition of insanity is doing the same things everyday, but expecting different results.


The Bottom Line Is…

If something does not work, try something else, measuring and testing things that determine what to do and not to do, based on the results you get, is the name of the game. Having a website requires a lot of work and maintenance. Sure there are bunch of automating tools out there that can literally create websites with some content from scratch and promise you the world, but that’s the biggest mistake one can make. Having a site, does not necessary mean making money.

A website is just a tool, and if you have many different websites, you are ending up with different tools that you can’t handle at ones. You can only use limited amount of tools at a time that yield some results. In fact, I recommend using the BEST tool you have and neglect anything else.

Just as you want to focus at one task at hand, until it is complete, you want to focus on only one site at a time.


Because Not Everything Works The First Time…

That’s why if you do many sites at ones, perhaps 97% of them aren’t going to give you any results. But if you have only one website, and focus on that and because you love what you are doing, giving great content to your visitors, this is going to pay off more along the way.

If you need an immediate cash, creating multiple websites is not the solution. You may want to subscribe to my free newsletter for more time management trainings that are going to allow you manage your work, requiring less time.

Even if you are having a job, you still can manage your efforts, and getting better results for yourself, because big results does not come from how much time you spent on them, but what things you did to get there…

“Being busy, does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production and accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” – Thomas A. Edison

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If there’s a single, biggest time waster that overwhelms, distracts and creates a sense of false completion, and that’s, starting the day with the unproductive small things first (like checking social media stats, emails, phone calls, and even browsing on Internet).

It turns out that we do this on auto-pilot, almost automatically. And it is harder to deal with things that are happening without consciously noticing them. But the wasted time is never going to come back…


What You’ll Learn?

In this short article, I am going to share with you four functions of planning that are going to set the stage for your day so that you can almost, without effort, force yourself to do the things that matter to you the most FIRST.


Why this is important?

Well, as you probably know, when doing the small things first, they tend to multiply.

For example, if we check the email early in the morning, that seems to be a small activity that usually may take 2-3 minutes, but it turns out that we stay longer, checking out stuff which other people send us to (videos, articles, news, TV shows, politics … ). This is quite frustrating, because as you check your email first, as you wake up in the morning, you are simply going to be consumed by it. That’s why doing the things that are important to you FIRST is of a major necessity. And obviously, email checking is not, unless you get paid for checking your email :-]

You are going to accomplish tremendously, if you are doing the important things first. And planning itself is going to help you find and execute those important areas, in fact, this structure of planning itself is going to MOTIVATE you to do the significant stuff first.


How does this work?

The process is quite simple. And I’ve learned this from Brian Tracy and Wyatt Woodsmall – the two most influential time management experts on me.

The system goes like this:

1) Establish your goals and objectives – the more clear you are about them, the better.

2) Formulate a strategy – what’s the process of reaching those objectives and goals? Step by step process that’s specific enough to outline the action steps that have to be taken to make it happen

3) Implement the plan – simply you take action toward the process you have outlined previously

4) Evaluate the success of the plan – adjustments are always needed, when it comes to planning. That’s because no plan is perfect, unless it is proven to work.

I’d like to give you more guidance and details on how to use these four aspects of planning. But before that, I’d like to tell you more about different ways that you can use this aspect of planning, because planning itself IS NOT a system. And that’s the biggest misconception out there.

The system is simply PROVEN PLAN that WORKS.

As you create a plan that has a particular outcome, there’s no way of knowing if that’s going to work. Even if you borrow a “proven strategy” that worked for somebody else. Well, this does not mean, it is going to work for you, because your situation may be different, and what works for somebody else, may not work for you.

You do not want to make things perfect, when it comes to planning, because that’s just the theory. I used to do this mistake so many times that wasted a lot of time along the way.

The best way is to approach your plan with “whatever” mindset. If the plan does not work, who cares. All plans I’ve personally formulated FAILED. But this did not stop me, and it actually allowed me to create even better plans as a result of that.


The bottom line is …

Planning is a LEARNING PROCESS, rather than a strict “to do list” to follow.

So, you do not want to waste time on making a “perfect plan,” because there’s no such thing, since the plan is just a theory, not an application.

However, planning is going to determine the direction you want to move through, and re-adjust that path as you revise your plan. It is the direction of which you are going to do the important things first, rather than the smaller insignificant stuff.

Planning does not work for those, who want to make the plan perfect. Instead, trying to make the plan work over and over again, by revising it often, and eventually we want to create a SYSTEM from it.


The Four Steps (Components) Of Successful Planning

The First Component On Planning – Establishing Your Objectives

1) It is quite necessary to know what the outcome of that plan is. This is going to move you toward the plan and sticking to it. The more clear you are about the outcome of the plan, the more you’ll get your hands on it, instead of doing things that do not matter to you, like checking emails, and doing all sorts of small activities. Busy does not always mean real work!

When it comes to establishing your goals, you have to MEASURE, all activities that are associated with that plan. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell if you are going somewhere, and test the validity of the plan. Because planning is about what would cause something else to happen. It is a chain of events that are going to lead us to the desired outcome, not the goal itself. Because we know what the goal is, but we do not know how to get there.

That’s why we want to create a plan that is going to help us finding the way to get to the desired outcome.

The Second Component Of Planning – Formulating A Strategy

2) When we formulate a strategy, this is nothing more than a sequence of actions that are going to take place, in order to acknowledge the accomplishments of the initial objectives.

It is important to note that we want to experiment with different things, and getting the necessary feedback to determine the results we are getting. It is simple as that.

As you formulate your strategy, you want to ANTICIPATE the possible scenarios (pros and cons) – this alone is going to allow you to build alternatives to SUPPORT that plan.

The Third Component Of Planning – Implementing The Plan

3) This is where we want to TAKE ACTION. We have to implement the plan, based on our objectives and the formulated strategy.

As I mentioned previously, we may have the best plan in the world, but if we do not put it into action, and test it, there’s no use of it.

Almost everything would require some kind of adjustments and as you go along, you have to monitor everything. Here’s more information on measuring and testing.

The Fourth Component Of Planning – Evaluating The Results

4) Based on the measurements we make, or based on the results we get, we need to evaluate the validity of the plan.

A plan is nothing more than a hypothesis. If we want to prove that hypothesis, we want to evaluate and measure its components (action steps), if they are consistent with our objectives.

If you want to learn more about planning, and a specific methodology successful people follow…

Get the RISK FREE “Flight Plan” book by Brian Tracy

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