One of my 2015 New Year’s resolutions was to turn off my email (not just minimize it). And I did and with that single stroke (closing my Microsoft® Outlook® email program), I achieved a new level of productivity for my legal nurse consulting business.
If you’re like me, you get lots of email – lots and lots of email. Some days I think I get more email than anyone else on the planet. I get email directed solely to me, copies of email to others, copies of responses from others to the original emailees, copies of “out of office” auto-responders from the original emailees, first responders and late responders, reports and responses to reports not to mention the occasional spam that has managed to dodge my spam filter.
So my first attempt at increasing productivity by decreasing attention to email was to simply minimize the program. But both my spiffy audio alert which sounds off, and my visual alert which flashes briefly on my screen when an email arrives, guarantee the triggering of a Pavlovian reaction. They instantly divert my attention from the big thing I’m working on straight to the clickbait that has dropped out of cyberspace and into my consciousness demanding (but not deserving) my immediate attention.
The email kept chiming and the alerts kept flashing and all that chiming was getting pretty annoying. So my next step was to mute the sound by silencing my speakers. That worked until I forgot to turn it back off after watching a Video Success Story from a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant. Suddenly, like Jack Nicholson in “The Shining,” my email loudly proclaimed “Here’s Johnny!”
Even when I remembered to mute the sound, the flashing reminders would catch my eye, forcing me to look up from my big thing to see what had just flashed by. That meant maximizing Outlook and going down the garden path of being reactive – not proactive.
Finally it occurred to me that the only way to banish email from my mind was to banish it from my Windows Desktop – that is close the program entirely. Doing that, and setting a regular time (and sticking to it) to check and respond to email solved the issue.
Forty days later, I’ve stuck with my resolution and my productivity is soaring. Not to mention my stress levels are under control because I’m getting my work (not everyone else’s) done.
So there you have it. A major productivity increase for your legal nurse consulting business with one stroke (or one mouse click). Simply close your email client when you’re working on an important case for an attorney-client.
For the record, I love technology and email and the benefits they offer. But as much as I love it, I’ve learned I can live without it – for short periods anyway.
Like so many things in life (except French fries), more is not always better. Email is not a culprit – it’s an enabler and we don’t have to be its victim.
I’m Just Sayin’
P.S. Comment here and share your productivity tips for handling your legal nurse consulting email.