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Rules For Productivity

Rules for Productivity

Quality, Consequences and the Construction Industrial Complex (part 243).

I am amazed by the high number of professionals who have no idea how to use e-mail or communicate effectively. Typically, they are all low productivity people. 

High productivity requires discipline plus mastery over your communication tools. Being busy with communication is NOT being productive.

E-mail, Slack, MS teams are a curse. I judge status on how little you use a mobile phone and e-mail. If you are bogged down in e-mail and a slave to your phone you are IMHO:

  • A poor time manager and probably overwhelmed.
  • A slave to other peoples agendas.
  • Unlikely to become a leader.

To be in control of your work flow, you must condition people that you:

  • Will only have discussions in person or via video.
  • Will not check voice mails, ever!
  • Will not have discussions by e-mail, ever!
  • Will only respond to direct requests for action.
  • Will not read, you will only file a CC or BCC e-mail.

Before work flow can be bought under control it is important to review and reduce all communication channels to the minimum viable dose. For me this looks like:

1.  Using mobile phones for video & voice calls only.
2.  Never use a desk phone, it is not the 1990’s.
3.  Use only one app for messaging. For me it is WhatsApp.
4.  Stop texting and using Snapchat, you are not a teenager.
5.  Never use voice mail anywhere. It is a waste of time, if it is urgent they will call back.
6.  Do not use social media during work hours unless it is part of your job.
7.  Turn off all notifications on your phone and computers.
8.  Only respond to people in your known network.

Here are my personal “rules for email” to ensure professionalism and optimum productivity:

  1. Never, ever use work e-mail for personal matters.
  2. Only check and respond to e-mail twice a day.
  3. Only use e-mail for information transmission or to request specific actions.
  4. Always have an e-mail signature with your name, title and mobile number. BTW, no one wants your physical office address, mission statement or tag line, put that on your website.
  5. Always have a clear, concise subject line that communicates the next step e.g.
    1. For Filing – Job Tile – Subject
    2. For action by (date) – Job Tile – Subject
    3. For Info – Job Tile – Subject
  6. Unless specifically asked to do so, never CC or BCC anyone. Large CC’s and BCC’s signal weakness and low status, it is an ass covering move.
  7. File by project, all sent and received e-mails to a server.
  8. Ruthlessly unsubscribe to all sales & junk e-mails.
  9. Practice “Zero Inbox e-mail”. Respond to all received e-mails in 24 hours as follows:
    1. Delete immediately without reading, if from unknown source or junk.
    2. If for information, file it and move on ASAP.
    3. If you can complete an action in 10 mins, do it immediately.
    4. If you need more than 10 mins, acknowledge the request and provide a delivery date.
  10. Avoid Slack, MS Teams et al… They are productivity traps.

Remember, the goal is minimum viable, clear communication leading to maximum productivity.

Twitter: @BLDWhisperer


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