Mistake #21: Spend your entire work time on emails

As you can see I haven’t written in a number of – yikes! – weeks! Why? I have been up to my eyeballs at work, but I can’t tell you what I’ve achieved. I’ve logged thousands of miles to meet with clients, but can’t tell you what I’ve accomplished. More importantly I’ve probably deleted nearly 10,000 emails in my mailbox, but can’t tell you what they were about or what they wanted. I bet there were four in there that were of dire importance for my business.

Steven Covey of Franklin Covey failed to teach us is how to manage our time at the computer.  Do you spend all day following up on emails? It takes a whole day to do that!  My favorite is when, after I’ve been in a meeting or away from my desk for several hours, I finally get back to my desk, when the phone rings. “Did you get my email?” Of course not! I was in a meeting.

So, why did you call?

To be sure you got my email.

Wouldn’t you know if I didn’t get it by not responding?

What if it goes into your spam mail?

Are you in that much of a hurry that you couldn’t wait until the end of the afternoon to get my answer? (It wasn’t even urgent, by the way.) And, anyway, isn’t that the purpose of sending emails? So that someone can get to the email when they are back at their computer?

No one teaches us how to manage our emails, or ourselves, once we sit in front of the computer.

No wonder I can’t get any work done during the course of an 8-10 hour work day, and stay up at night to do my real work.  Away from the computer. Thinking, planning, documenting, and developing.  (And not having any time to blog to tell you about it, because I’m busy doing my work in the evenings and on weekends that should have been done during the day.)


Sometimes I feel like I’ve been avoiding the hard stuff and only doing the easy stuff.  What hard stuff are you avoiding?!




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