I have been receiving the newsletter from a company called Day-Timer who make really good planners and diaries. Every month I get useful tips and articles about time management, which are just up my street. So today I thought I’d share one of those tips with you.
A question was posed to Jeff Doubek, one of the company’s experts:
I am a very organised and time-efficient person but one thing I find that gets out of control is reading of emailed articles, mailed magazines and brochures that come my way everyday. At the moment all I do is print them out and file them into a tray labelled “READING” but never seem to get around to reading anything! Please help.
And here is Jeff’s Response:
Throughout history, as long as the printed word has existed I am certain there has also been an overflowing inbox. It’s just a fact – there is too much information for us to handle on a daily basis. Here are some tips for finding time to read:
- Decide: minimise your pile through two types of decisions: 1) skim and recycle; or 2) file and follow-up
- Prioritise: decide how important each content piece is to your big picture, and
- Sacrifice: you may need to let go of some things you want to read, remember that your brain only has so much capacity
- Discuss: your co-workers may have already read something in your inbox, ask them to summarise it for you over lunch
- Schedule: follow-up on paperwork by creating a dated task in your planner, or by adding it to your master task list
- Postpone: create a “Read Later” file, and keep it handy for downtime moments like waiting lines, airline travel, and breaks
- Minimise: limit incoming paper by encouraging a digital workflow amongst your work team, and by opting out of direct mail and catalogue lists
Now this is definitely some very good advice that I would back 100%. I particularly liked the bit about getting coworkers to summarise read material over lunch. Genius!
If you would also receive tips like this, then here is the Day-timer page where you can sign up to their newsletter eTalk: http://www.daytimer.co.uk/resources/etalk/subscribe.aspx
Unfortunately I don’t receive any benefit from Day-Timer for sharing this with you other than the warm fuzzy feeling that I’m sharing good information with people who are interested and who might gain from this.