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Make Email Your Servant (Not Your Master)

Make Email Your Servant (Not Your Master)

Make Email Your Servant (Not Your Master)

    Let’s be clear.  Your email is not your work; it is simply a tool to help you do your work.  But like any tool it can be ineffective or even dangerous when used wrongly.  Here is how to make email your servant not your master.

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    1.  Check your email inbox at set intervals. Do not have your email on and active in front of you all the time.  For most people it is better to check email no more than three or four times a day.  For example you could check email at 9 am, 12 noon and 4 pm.  Then you can spend the rest of the day doing useful work.

    2.  Your do-do list is more important than your email. Write all the most important things you have to do each day on your to-do list and use that to prioritise your activities.  Focus on getting the top priorities completed each day and your performance will soar.

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    3.  Action emails immediately. When you read your inbox action each item immediately if at all possible.  You might reply, forward, delete or file.  Do not read through your inbox over and over.  Read once and action straight away.  If you cannot action an important email then flag it for follow up – in Outlook you right click on the message and then click – follow up today.  This will give the item a red flag and you can find it easily by clicking on the flag status column.

    4.  Declutter your inbox. Eliminate unnecessary emails.  Flag junk as junk or use an external filter system such as ClearMyMail to stop junk.  Unsubscribe from any newsletters that you you do not read.

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    5.  Maintain your contact list. Your contact list is a valuable asset that rewards attention and maintenance.  In most cases when you receive an email from a new business contact then you should add them to your contacts immediately.  Years later you might want to contact them and it is important to have their details.  It is handy to sort your contacts into different categories – social, customer, supplier etc.   Take a back-up of your contact list separately from your main computer so that you still have it even if disaster strikes.

    6.  Use folders sparingly. I have a few folders for really important categories of communication.  Everything else is deleted or stays in my inbox.  Some people have hundreds of folders and put everything into one or other.  If this works for you then fine but beware of folder creep.

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    7.  Sync your mobile and desktop worlds. Keep your messages and contacts synchronsied between your cellphone or pda and your computer.  It is great to use quiet time while travelling to read and send messages provided your important replies are captured for future reference.

    Some people use social media sites such as Twitter or Facebook as their primary communications tool and they are great for short casual messages.  However, email remains the tool of choice for business communications.  Sharpen the tool and use it well.  It is an essential part of your everyday productivity.

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    Paul Sloane

    Professional Keynote Speaker, Author, Innovation Expert

    How to Get Rich: 11 Bold Moves That Guarantee Wealth How to win Arguments – Dos, Don’ts and Sneaky Tactics How to be a Brilliant Conversationalist Think Laterally Write A Killer Resume In Seven Easy Steps

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    Last Updated on January 18, 2019

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    7 Ways To Deal With Negative People

    Some people will have a rain cloud hanging over them, no matter what the weather is outside. Their negative attitude is toxic to your own moods, and you probably feel like there is little you can do about it.

    But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

    If you want to effectively deal with negative people and be a champion of positivity, then your best route is to take definite action through some of the steps below.

    1. Limit the time you spend with them.

    First, let’s get this out of the way. You can be more positive than a cartoon sponge, but even your enthusiasm has a chance of being afflicted by the constant negativity of a friend.

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    In fact, negativity has been proven to damage your health physically, making you vulnerable to high levels of stress and even cardiac disease. There’s no reason to get hurt because of someone else’s bad mood.

    Though this may be a little tricky depending on your situation, working to spend slightly less time around negative people will keep your own spirits from slipping as well.

    2. Speak up for yourself.

    Don’t just absorb the comments that you are being bombarded with, especially if they are about you. It’s wise to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but being too quiet can give the person the impression that you are accepting what’s being said.

    3. Don’t pretend that their behavior is “OK.”

    This is an easy trap to fall into. Point out to the person that their constant negativity isn’t a good thing. We don’t want to do this because it’s far easier to let someone sit in their woes, and we’d rather just stay out of it.

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    But if you want the best for this person, avoid giving the false impression that their negativity is normal.

    4. Don’t make their problems your problems.

    Though I consider empathy a gift, it can be a dangerous thing. When we hear the complaints of a friend or family member, we typically start to take on their burdens with them.

    This is a bad habit to get into, especially if this is a person who is almost exclusively negative. These types of people are prone to embellishing and altering a story in order to gain sympathy.

    Why else would they be sharing this with you?

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    5. Change the subject.

    When you suspect that a conversation is starting to take a turn for the negative, be a champion of positivity by changing the subject. Of course, you have to do this without ignoring what the other person said.

    Acknowledge their comment, but move the conversation forward before the euphoric pleasure gained from complaining takes hold of either of you.

    6. Talk about solutions, not problems.

    Sometimes, changing the subject isn’t an option if you want to deal with negative people, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still be positive.

    I know that when someone begins dumping complaints on me, I have a hard time knowing exactly what to say. The key is to measure your responses as solution-based.

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    You can do this by asking questions like, “Well, how could this be resolved?” or, “How do you think they feel about it?”

    Use discernment to find an appropriate response that will help your friend manage their perspectives.

    7. Leave them behind.

    Sadly, there are times when we have to move on without these friends, especially if you have exhausted your best efforts toward building a positive relationship.

    If this person is a family member, you can still have a functioning relationship with them, of course, but you may still have to limit the influence they have over your wellbeing.

    That being said, what are some steps you’ve taken to deal with negative people? Let us know in the comments.

    You may also want to read: How to Stop the Negative Spin of Thoughts, Emotions and Actions.

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