Information Overload-Learn the System That Makes You More Productive

I have noticed lately while caring an iPhone with all the fancy bells and whistles that you can get an alert and notification for everything.  I have also realized that if set up a certain way you can have your email automatically retrieved every 15 minutes.  And we all know how popular texting is as a “tool” for communication and how instantaneous we receive those after they are sent.  Add “push notifications” for all your Apps like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, USA Today,, Bank updates telling you when you spend money, and the list goes on and on. 
If you are going after some big goals in life your phone can blow up within a few hours each morning with all these so-called tools that are supposed to help you achieve things.  But that is the catch.  If you keep checking email, Facebook responses, and text messages as they come in how can you “Plan your work and work your plan”?
 I was out at a speaking event recently and I asked a general question to a group of Realtors, Mortgage Lenders, and Affiliates of the home buying and selling industry when  in their day did they have it planned for and scheduled to respond to their email.  The vast majority responded with a quizzical look followed by, “all day, when they come in.”  Does anyone see where this could be a problem? 
  If you too answer this question this way then I have an alternative method for you.  It comes with the freedom to plan, choices on what messages and notifications to respond to and when. This plan offers you the ability to focus on your goals without the being focused on the bombardment of incoming notifications.  So here is a system I want you to consider implementing to ensure you are taming the information elephant:
Step 1

  • Turn on your computer
  • Open Email
  1. Do Not Read yet!!!  Just open!
  • Open Facebook/Twitter
  1. Do Not do anything, just open and minimize your screen.
  • Retrieve all voice mail messages
  1. Write down all messages
  • Open up text messaging and set phone down


  • Step 2


  • Email
  1. Delete Junk
  2. Forward any emails that can be handled by someone else (File for reference)
  3. Reply to any emails that can be answered quickly in 1-2 sentences or less. (File for reference)
  4. Only leave Emails that require action in your inbox.
  5. Utilize your scheduled time to handle those emails requiring action  (Once action has been taken decide to delete or file for reference)
  • Facebook/Twitter
  1. Reply to messages that help you move closer to your desired outcome.
  2. Refrain from getting caught up in conversations that will take up all your time
  3. Use all social networking to help you achieve your goals, not to waste your time.
  • Voice mail
  1. Return all calls that require your attention and can be handled quickly
  2. Keep all calls to 5 minutes or less
  3. Prioritize and return any calls that will be quick
  4. If you have a call that will take more than 5 minutes to handle that will go in some other part of your day.
  • Text Messages
  1. Delete all that have been responded to already
  2. Respond to those that will allow you to freely move towards your goals
  3. Only use text messaging for business purposes

Using the system laid out above will free up your time to accomplish more tasks as related to your goals.  I personally “sort” all of my messages and work this system 3 times a day; at 5:30am, at noon, and at 4:30pm.  This allows me to schedule my time so that I am maximizing my efforts between 8:30am and noon as well as 1pm and 4:30pm.  Doing this allows me 7+/- hours of focus on tasks that will allow me to achieve more of my goals.  This is a great return on investment for a system that only takes between 20-30 minutes to clean out all of your notifications, messages, and mail each time.
What do you think you could do with 7+/- hours of time that you weren’t interrupted by texts and emails and messages on Facebook/twitter, and voice mails?   Consider this system if you want more WOOHOOing in all areas of your life and stop chasing the next message.
 To your success and more WOOHOOing!