However, that is not a long-term strategy for continued employment, so I had to wrangle a little control of the time I do have in the day. In keeping with the theme of the “TMI” post from yesterday, here’s my humble offering to the world of managing the information that is whizzing toward my head.
I call it the “Dr. Pepper Method.”
I process my inbox three times a day – at 10, 2, and 4. By not processing until 10 a.m., I force myself to do something productive at the beginning of the day. Nothing jumpstarts a positive habit like getting something done early. That also gives me time to respond to the ‘urgent’ things before lunch – although I am moving to the notion that if it really were urgent, they would have called me instead. The 10 a.m. process run gives me a couple of things to do before and after lunch, and helps me adjust the agenda for the rest of the day.
At 2 p.m., I do another pass. It doesn’t take as long, and is long enough after lunch that I repeat the good habit of “doing something” before playing with e-mail. It’s a good reset, and a chance to check document revisions and followups from the morning session.
Finally, at 4 p.m., I get a chance to finalize a few small tasks, and use the afternoon e-mails as a guide to setting my morning priorities for the next day.
And, it’s easy to remember.