[trx_quote cite=”#” title=”Mandy Green”]Think for a minute about when you felt you were very productive and you got your best work done. I bet that you felt fully focused, fully engaged by your work.[/trx_quote]
Email Workflow Part 4: Set Yourself Up To Be Successful
For the last 3 weeks, I have been showing you my recruiting workflow system.
In week one, I talked about how 1 extra week of research is the difference between good and great. In part 2, I walked you through how to save 2 hours a day with an email game plan. In part 3, I shared how to get a better ROI with your recruiting emails.
In part 4 today, I want to share with you how I increase my chances of success in working through my email by being more thoughtful and intentional about my environment.
Coach, when do you do your best work?
Think for a minute about when you felt you were very productive and you got your best work done. I bet that you felt fully focused, fully engaged by your work.
Guess what? This is not an accident!
Psychologist Mihaly Csikzenthmihalyi, who has done a lot of research in this area, coined the term flow to describe this highly productive mental state when we become completely focused, engaged and absorbed by our work.
This state is very similar to the “zone” that many professional athletes talk about when they are performing at our best.
Imagine what it would be like if you could enter this state much more frequently than you do now? Do you think you would be more productive? Would you get a lot more stuff done?
There are certain conditions that make it much more likely that you’ll enter into this flow state.
The reason why I’m bringing this up is that if you can create and align these conditions on a regular basis, you can end up with some very productive periods throughout the day.
The problem is that it’s rare for these conditions to happen accidentally as part of your average day. In fact, it’s much more likely that these conditions are NOT going to happen, UNLESS you take active steps to make them happen.
That’s why it is important to intentionally design your ideal day, to make a conscious decision to create the conditions that will naturally lead you to have a very productive day.
Being intentional and strategic for me started with my energy. I don’t know about you, but I am never as productive or have great focus when I am tired and hungry. You know when you tired when your head is on your hands or you’re slumped in your chair vs being up and total engaged in what you are doing. I try to go to bed and get up at the same time, I eat a good protein filled breakfast, I drink 2 liters of water before I leave the house, I pack a healthy lunch and snacks so I don’t have to run and pick up something quick, and try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise to rev up my energy for the day. This is what works for me and took a lot of paying attention to how I am feeling after I eat and from how much sleep I got.
When is my energy best
To write recruiting emails that connect and get a response usually requires that you be at your very best, rested, alert, and creative. For you coach, what time of the day do you most feel the most alert, focused, and productive? We all have times during the day when we feel energetic and then other times when we feel tired. For a lot of coaches, your “prime time” or “magic time” is first thing in the morning. If that is the case, that is when you should do your recruiting emails. For some though, they are at their best at night. So, whenever you know that your energy is highest, you should plan to do your high-priority recruiting tasks. During the times of the day when you are feeling sluggish, take care of your non-challenging low-priority tasks. If you fit your schedule to your moods and energy levels, you’ll save time and be more effective in your job.
Clean up the mess
I will tuck away or clean up any papers or books that are on my desk. I tend to get distracted by a mess.
Get up and move
Before I sit down to write, I get up and move around a little just to get the blood flowing, I go to the bathroom.
Get everything I need first
I try and make sure I have all the info I need in one folder. I make sure I have water and my hot chocolate/coffee drink.
Listen to music
A lot of Neuroscience based studies have found that listening to the right kind of music can help you increase your focus and lengthen your attention span. It’s what gets you in touch with your emotion and enables you to faster get to that place where you can begin creating.
To break the time-sucking habit of constantly checking your email, turn off all email notifications on your computer and phone. When you don’t, there is always going to be something buzzing, beeping, blinking, vibrating and literally robbing you of your attention and concentration. Those random little “pings” are just conditioning you to check your email compulsively like a Pavlovian dog. Moreover, email notifications distract us from focused, concentrated work. Our brains aren’t really wired for multi-tasking. We may think we’re just going to spend only a minute reading that latest email, but studies have found it takes, on average, 25 minutes to return to your original work once you’ve gone down the rabbit hole.
When it is time to write your emails, go offline. Put yourself in a distraction-free environment where your phone and email notifications are turned off. The thing that kills writing and turns a 70-minute process into a 7-hour process is when you’re allowing yourself to be bombarded by social media and other kinds of interruptions.
To sum up quickly parts 1-4 of my email workflow so far.
- Stop what you are doing to do a little research to find a better way to send out recruiting emails.
- Plan everything out the night before.
- Have your email goals set out and handy to keep you focused on what you should be writing.
- Set yourself up for success by creating an environment in which you can get a lot done.
I will share the last 2 parts over the next 2 weeks. This really doesn’t take long at all to do each step. Just by being a little more intentional and thoughtful about how I go about doing email, I eliminate a lot of randomness, I save a lot of time, and the quality of my work went up. Well worth the investment of time and energy it took for me to figure this out.
What do you do to set up yourself to be successful?
Hope you have a productive rest of the week!
P.S. – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Do you have a routine for doing email? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you want more tips about how to save time with recruiting, go to my website at www.busy.coach.
P.P.S. If you have found this article helpful, please share it with your staff or other work colleagues! Studying time and energy management over these last 8 years and applying it to my coaching and recruiting has been a game changer for me. I am committed to helping coaches get more important work done in less time so more time can be spent with family and friends. Thanks!