Certified Ergonomic Assessment Specialist Cheyenne Rivers of Missoula-based ErgoWellness gives the following insights and recommendations for streamlining work practices.
One of the things I like to promote is learning time efficiency and increased productivity. If we can get more things done and stay focused to complete these tasks, we can have more free time . . away from the computer enjoying a healthy worklife balance.
Recently, I came across a handy book called The Four Hour Work week by Timothy Ferris. It’s filled with wonderful and helpful tips and tools that are quite innovative for today’s work world and vast worldwide network.
Here is one such tip.
Anything that prevents the start to finish completion of a critical task are considered principal interruptions. These include . . .
1. Time wasters: those things that can be ignored with little or nor consequence. Common time wasters include meetings, discussions, phone calls, web surfing, and e-mail that are unimportant.
2. Time consumers: repetitive tasks or requests that need to be completed but often interrupt high-level work. Here are a few you might know intimately: reading and responding to e-mail, making and returning phone calls, customer service (order status, product assistance etc.), financial or sales reporting, personal errands, all necessary repeated actions and tasks.
3. Empowerment failures: instances where someone needs approval to make something happen. Here are just a few: fixing customer problems (lost shipments, damaged shipments, malfunctions etc.), customer contact, cash expenditures of all types.
Here’s a look at a prescription for number one on that list. (I have edited a little bit and encourage you to buy the book!)
Limit e-mail consumption and production. This is the great single interruption of the modern world Turn off the audible alert if you have one on Outlook or a similar program, and turn off automatic send and receive, which delivers e-mail to your inbox as soon as someone sends them.
Check your e-mail twice per day, once at noon or just prior to lunch, and again at 4 PM. 12 PM and 4 PM are times that ensure you’ll have the most responses from previously sent e-mails. Never check e-mail first thing in the morning. Instead, complete your most important task before 11 AM, to avoid using lunch or reading e-mail as a postponement excuse.
Before implementing the twice-daily routine, create an e-mail auto response that will train your boss, coworkers, suppliers, and clients to be more effective. Speak with your immediate supervisor and propose a trial to the approach for one to three days.
A sample response might look like this:
Greetings friends and associates,
Due to a high workload, I am currently checking and responding to e-mail twice daily at 12 PM & 4 PM mountain time. If you require urgent assistance that cannot wait until either 12 PM or 4 PM, please contact me via phone at–––––.
Thank you for your understanding this move to more efficiency and effectiveness. It helps me accomplish more to serve you better.
Your name here
For more tips, please check out this book by clicking here. Again, it’s fantastic tool chocked full of tips and tricks!
Cheyenne Rivers, CEAS