Archive for February, 2011

Fight E-mail Tyranny

Monday, February 28th, 2011

I received this e-mail from Robert Middleton, a marketing expert.  His post is all about how to manage e-mail more efficiently.  We can all benefit from learning a tip or two about how to handle this great slave and horrible master.  E-mail has taken over our lives but it is not too late to make peace with it and to enjoy it for what it is:  A powerful communication tool.  If you wish to subscribe to his e-zine see the bottom for his website link.  Enjoy it!

With energy,

Ana

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Fight Email Tyranny
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By Robert Middleton – Action Plan Marketing

On Sunday evening while browsing our local Santa Cruz bookstore
I came across a wonderful book: The Tyranny of Email by John
Freeman.

Freeman spends the first six chapters of the book making a
powerful case for one rather sobering insight: We are all
hopelessly addicted to email. It has taken over our lives and we
have virtually no strategies to manage it.

The good news is that in the final chapter, “Don’t Send,” he
presents ten prescriptions for breaking the email addiction and
handling email with a degree of sanity. I’ll summarize them here,
but if you want the full impact, get the book!

1. Don’t Send

Email begets email. The more you send, the more you get. So
before you send an email message, take a few seconds to think:
How essential is this email? What’s it’s purpose? Could I combine
email messages to a single recipient in response to several
emails? It is urgent or could it wait? So slow things down a bit
and don’t be so reactive. Send email intentionally.

2. Don’t Check It First Thing in the Morning or Late at Night

Don’t you have a business so that you can have a life? And if the
very first thing you do in the day is check email, you are a slave
to email, not to your priorities. Much better to take some time to
plan your day, look at the appointments and priorities YOU have
first and plan how you’re going to get them done. Focus on the
big stuff and then email can fit more easily between the cracks.

3. Check It Twice a Day

We often check our email several times an hour. The truth is, it’s
not necessary. You won’t actually get behind. Better to schedule
time to “handle” email, so you can do it more completely. Can’t
reduce it to two times a day? Try three or at the most, hourly.

4. Keep a written To-Do List and Incorporate Email into It

Your best time management tool is a simple to-do list. I make a
weekly list of about 5 to 10 major items I want to complete that
week and then a daily list of 2 or 3 priority items for that day.
Email is something I fit between these priorities but don’t let it
dominate my day.

5. Give Good Email

The best emails are short, concise and clear. After all, email is
about communication not a deluge of information. Take an extra
minute to proof your email, make sure the message is clear and
also makes a specific request or promise for action. Include your
phone number in your email signature so that they can easily call
you if needed. I also proof my email for typos and format the
email for easy readability such as using bold type.

6. Read the Entire Incoming Email before replying

We’ve all done it. We scan an email quickly and dash off a reply.
Then we read the bottom part we missed and realize our response
was incomplete. So we send another email. Meanwhile you’ve
gotten an email back, trying to clarify this… Again, the key is to
do email intentionally. Write and respond with the intention of
moving something forward without confusion.

7. Do not Debate Complex or Sensitive Matters by Email

Sometimes you just need to pick up the phone. Nuances of
emotion are hard to express in writing. Especially when you’re in
the habit of dashing off emails quickly. Remember that you have
a relationship with your correspondent. Treat that relationship
with care, and communicate in a way that will get the best
outcome. Besides, a quick phone call can often be faster than
writing an email.

8. If You Have to Work as a Group by Email, Meet Your
Correspondents Face-to-Face

In my one-year Marketing Mastery Program we connect by
teleconference, email and phone. But I also hold a 3-day
workshop at the beginning of the program so that people can
connect person-to-person. They get to know each other, feel more
comfortable with everyone and a more powerful community is
created this way. When they send emails after the workshop, they
are no longer emailing to strangers.

9. Set Up Your Desk to Do Something Else Besides Email

A big desk helps. My computer is in the middle of a v-shaped
desk and I have four feet on each side of the computer for my
planning books, for taking notes, for my laptop computer that
acts as my “jazz jukebox,” etc. Yes, the computer is the central
hub of my business, but lots of space leaves me options to do
other things than be on my computer.

10. Schedule Media-free Time Every Day

What do we do after our full day at our computers? We visit
Facebook, watch TV and play video games! We are not only
addicted to email, we are addicted to electronic media to the
point of obsession. I include myself in this. If you don’t have a TV,
I honor you! But for the sake of your own well being, make sure
to unplug for several hours a day. If you don’t, you’re opening the
door for serious stress issues.

*

The More Clients Bottom Line: Work at handling email consciously
and intentionally. It’s one of the most powerful communication
mediums in the world but it is both inescapable and addictive. It
can severely damage your quality of life if you don’t take the kind
of steps outlined in the article above. And do your self a favor and
get John Freeman’s book: The Tyranny of Email. Powerful stuff.

What are a few of your tips for managing email consciously?
Please share on the More Clients Blog.

http://actionplan.blogs.com

Celebrating Israel!

Saturday, February 19th, 2011

This post is personal and close to my heart.  It’s about my wonderful trip to Israel, my spiritual homeland.  My time here has been spent between learning and sightseeing.  The first part of the trip was made up of twenty wonderful days with my husband driving all over the Central and Northern parts of the Land.  We discovered amazing places, inspiring people and amazing food, of course!  The magical sounds, sights and smells of Israel made us dream of ancient times where people worshiped at the Temple, walked the same streets we were walking on and fought for what they believed in.  Israel amazed us at every corner…

This week has been all about learning.  My teachers showered me with amazing lessons and meditations that made my head spin and my heart sing with joy.  Learning for its own sake elevates the spirit and heightens our awareness.  I have a feeling that this trip will bring me many fruits and I hope to share them with you soon enough.  It suffices to say that my notes filled up a notebook and that I am buying a new suitcase tomorrow to carry all the new books I bought!

I also had the opportunity to do my favorite thing while traveling:  Talk to locals and listen to their stories.  The feeling of connecting to others always makes me smile.  Isn’t that what life is all about anyway?  I met an amazing silversmith designer named Sari Srulovitch (www.sarisrulovitch.com) and spent almost two hours listening to her telling me about her gorgeous pieces and her inspirations for making them.  She showed me her studio and her tools and I was amazed at her humble demeanor considering that Sari won many international prizes and has some of her pieces in permanent exhibition at The Israel Museum and the New York Jewish Museum, not to mention private collections all around the world.  I met a lovely cab driver named Yakov who told me about his travels around the world and his love for South America where he met a lovely lady named Ana in the summer of 1970 – the year I was born!  I also met chef Moshe Basson who was just in Brazil being part of the Israeli Food Festival in Sao Paulo.  He proudly showed me all the magazines and articles he was featured in while in Sao Paulo.  What is so special about Moshe is that he specializes in cooking “Biblical Food” – see his website at www.the-eucalyptus.com.  He reproduced many foods that are featured on the Tanach (The Jewish Bible), and in other sources of the Jewish tradition.  His cooking is exquisite and sophisticated precisely because of its simplicity.  I was delighted to experience a tasting menu with my friend Shani and her sister Avgal.  To top it off, the famous Israeli singer Gad Elbaz, was having dinner with friends and surprised all of us with a beautiful rendition of “Ana Bechoach”, an ancient Jewish prayer.  What an amazing night!

The informality, openness and generosity of Israelis touches my heart.  It makes me fall in love with the country all over again every time I go there.  I feel safe, at home and hopeful in spite of all that goes on around this tiny nation.  And I am so glad I got to share twenty wonderful days with my husband in this magical Land.  Israel is for lovers!

Shalom and blessings from the Land,

Ana