I was doing some work with a business mentoring client the other week about cutting out time wasters. He’s busy on a new project, but is finding it difficult to manage this with his existing commitments, so we needed to free up some time.
When we looked at what was eating up his time, surprise, surprise, the biggest chunk of non-productive time was email. He looked at his email and while we’d been in our session, 64 new emails had come in – we’d only been there for 45 minutes! Most of these didn’t need any attention, but they did suck up time which could be used for making money or having fun, even if it’s just the time to decide which ones to delete and then getting rid of them. Not only that, but this constant deluge was making my client feel overwhelmed, like being constantly buffeted by an incoming tide which he had to swim against.
So we spent some time cutting out all the emails he’d subscribed to over the years. And all the ones that naughty people had just subscribed him to without his permission. We were ruthless, and it was great fun. Here’s what we did:
- All and any newsletter emails were unsubscribed – he can choose to look at those sites, or will see new stuff on Twitter as it comes out, but it will be at a time he chooses, not all mixed up with important stuff from clients and people wanting to be clients.
- All news alerts were unsubscribed.
- All social media alerts were set up to go into a folder automatically, so he can look at them when he wants to, not as soon as they come into his inbox.
- All emails from clients were also set up to go into a folder. This is the first folder he looks at now, not his inbox.
- All emails from friends, family and Facebook (he uses Facebook for social stuff, not business) were also sent into a folder so he can pay attention to this when he’s in social mode, not when he has to concentrate on work stuff.
Time is money
After this, I did some sums on the bus. (It’s my secret habit, spreadsheets on the bus, don’t tell anyone.)I reckoned that this would free up 45 minutes a day for my client. And if he spent 50% of that on extra marketing, with that extra day a month, he’d be able to bring in 7.5 new clients per year. 22.5k extra a year – not bad! And if he spent 50% of his new time on billable hours for clients, he’d be able to bill out another 750 per month. Another 9k a year. Here’s the spreadsheet, if you like that sort of thing.
So, if you’d like an extra 31.5k on your sales per year, get unsubscribing! Get those folders set up. Make the useless emails go away. Delete like crazy.
The one exception
Of course, the one exception to this is my email newsletter.
You could just follow me on Twitter, and get all the latest stuff there, but you might miss it, so I would subscribe to my email newsletter, as it has lots of tips and tricks, each one worth at least 31.5k.