THE BENEFITS OF EMAIL DISCIPLINE
A few days ago someone sent me a message asking me if I had read The 4-Hour Workweek and if I had implemented anything from it. With so many ways to receive messages, I can’t figure out where that message came from so I am leaving my answer here.
In fact, The 4-Hour Workweek was one of the first books that I read when I picked up the habit of reading or listening to business and motivational books first-thing, every morning. I very much enjoyed the book but since branding, marketing, and creating opportunities is a passion, I really can’t imagine limiting myself to just four hours. There were many great takeaways, though, from realizing and tackling what is THE most important task to reach your objective to knowing the difference between “taking care of business” and “creating busyness.” By far, the one practice that I implemented from the book and use the most (daily, in fact) is email discipline. While I haven’t gotten to the point of only checking emails once a day, and there is room to improve, I have gotten over my FOMO (fear of missing out) and have started compartmentalizing the task of responding to emails. This routine prevents the “tail wagging the dog” syndrome and has eliminated a lot of anxiety. What are the other benefits?
More focus. It’s very easy in marketing to start chasing butterflies and end up in a rabbit hole of research or conversation that, while more interesting, are less of a priority. Email discipline removes the distraction and helps me to stick with the nitty-gritty. I get to dedicate time and creative energy that I need for the task at hand. Ultimately, I am crafting more creative, insightful, and energetic messaging or design work for my clients.
More efficiency. Efficiency comes in two ways. Marketing and branding is a creative endeavor and requires a particular flow of energy. When you go off course, it takes a while to get that mojo back. When I maintain email discipline, I don’t cheat myself of time or energy. The second way that I find efficiency is that sometimes things resolve themselves before I need to get involved. I would call that a plus!
Proactive communication and more thoughtful responses. Going back to the tail-wagging-the-dog thing, not being distracted allows for proactive planning and handling of details. You can easily translate that to increased productivity. Being present in my communication also means that I am more thoughtful in my responses (which can prevent a lot of problems, in and of itself!).
So, I think The 4-Hour Workweek is worth the read even if you are not interested in working part-time. I particular, pay attention to the areas of knowing what you want, the price you must pay, and guarding your time and energy so that you can focus on achieving what you want. For me, I know the best branding and marketing results come from persistency and consistency (PC). More focus, more efficiency, and proactive communication allow me more time to be more PC for my clients and me.