5 minute Quick tools to Gain more time (Part 1) by having an Outlook routine

Unconscious habits make up 99%  of our time.  You will gain more time by discovering through trial and error what works best for you.  Your brain is always looking for better ways.  Our ancestors were always looking for better tools. Our minds and bodies have not changed in 100,000 years.

I like Outlook ™ because it is the most popular tool for handling emails.  Using GTD ™, time management systems and how the brain optimally performs, I have a routine system that works for me. I am aware that the human brain’s energy is limited and as the day progresses, just like a batteries voltage diminishes, our brains lose power and effectiveness!

1.  At 4 PM (or after if I have a client appointment), I update my task lists that are sorted by “contexts” (i.e. @phone, @computer, @desk, @using car), review my calendar for the next two days,  and MOST important I prepare in writing  a victory list of what I feel pleased about. In future Blogs, I will explain why this is so important!

2. The next morning, after I have completed my daily home list including working out on the Eliptical, I  open my Outlook ™  remotely from home and I:

A. Recheck the calendar for “Must be done today tasks” and appointments.

B. Open up “Unread mail”.  I make sure to open to sort by “oldest on top” order.

  1. I then review each email and make an intuitive decision of what my next action is.
  2. If the email is junk, I right click and block the sender. If it is for information only and I do not need, I delete the email. This “cleaning of emails” will be invaluable when I perform a “search” for a specific email because I will have fewer emails to search through!
  3. If, the email needs a reply, I reply promptly.  Why come back to this when I can take care of it at  ONE time in less than 1 minute?
  4. I use the “auto correct” feature in Outlook ™  to reduce my time preparing emails.  1 minute here and 1 minute there..adds up in time saved.  I know of clients that you Dragon ™ voice recognition program. I am a fast typist and so prefer to “keyboard”.
  5. I read each of my email replies out loud to avoid grammar errors and spelling errors. While reading out loud during the proofing of this article, I found many errors. For instance instead of saying “I read each of my email..” I originally said I reached each of my email ..”   We are judged positively by our accuracy and negatively by our carelessness.  We all are going to make errors. The key is to minimize errors.
  6.  If I need the email for future use as  a reference, I will save to a drive (we use a F and G drives) under a name/description that I expect to search for in the future.
  7.    I will make recommendations in  future blogs. (copyright 2012 by Jeffrey Brooks)





(c) 2012 Jeffrey Brooks

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About Jeffrey Brooks

Jeffrey Brooks, CPA, CFP, MBA since 1976 has specialized in helping clients save significant taxes, help businesses increase their cash flow, revenues and profits while increasing their control and satisfaction. Jeff and his accounting firm sincerely cares about the happiness of his clients.

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