Thursday, January 15, 2015

Just a Reminder: Email is Evil

If you own a business -- especially if you're a solopreneur -- your time is incredibly valuable.

You have the same 24 hours as your competitors to do what matters. And whoever gets more big stuff done wins.

But you probably knew that.

But did you know? Email is evil. Because it's keeping you from getting big stuff done.

I've written before that email is your to-do list that anybody can get on. All they need is your email address and they can send you a message that you've got to answer. Poof. There goes one more minute of your life, up in smoke.

But here are two more reasons to treat email like cholesterol -- and cut back:

1) Checking email decreases efficiency.

Why? Because you're more efficient those fewer times that you do. There's a fascinating article in the New York Times called "Stop Checking Email So Often," in which people who checked email less often reported that they spent 20% less time answering their email -- they were 20% more efficient.

Here's a quote from the story: "Constantly monitoring our inboxes promotes stress without promoting efficiency. When it comes to checking email, less might be more."

2) Checking email increases stress. 

For people in a study who agreed to check email only 3 times a day, "The reduction in stress was about as large as the benefit people get from learning relaxation techniques (e.g., taking deep breaths, visualizing peaceful imagery)."

In other words, email = stress. Less email may reduce stress as much as picturing yourself lying in the sun on a tropical beach several times a day.

According to the article, checking email less can reduce stress by cutting down on the need to switch between tasks. Our brains can't do two demanding things at once, so flipping back and forth between tasks -- multi-tasking -- is a drain on cognitive resources. As a result, you are less efficient in each of the tasks you’re trying to do.

Bottom line: Limit email, or email will limit you.

Try cutting back to checking email just 3 times a day. You can do that. And when you do, you'll free up at least one hour of newly productive time every day.

Now. What can you do to market your business in one hour? Here are 3 ideas -- pick one:

1) Grab the phone and call your top 5 clients, for 12 minutes each. Ask how they're doing and what they're working on. Then ask if you can be of service somehow. They will tell you how to help or say, "No, thanks." Either way, they will be blown away by your generosity.

2) Mail a copy of a helpful article (magazine or newspaper) to your top 20 clients. Include a handwritten message with each that says, "Saw this and thought of you." Sign it.

3) Call to interview your last 3 happy clients, for 20 minutes each. Ask how are they using your product or service, exactly? What has changed for the better, exactly? How much more time or money do they have as a result, exactly? Then ask if you can transcribe their comments to use in a "mini case study" on your web site or newsletter.

Now. If your business is doing at least $100,000 in revenue, my Free Client Cloning Kit can give you a slight edge -- and then some. It's NOT another download. This is a real business-building kit you can hold in your hands. Grab yours now, while you can.

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