Great Email Productivity Tip: Pretend You’re Flying

I started to write Shawn Morrissey a note about this, then thought it’d be more fun to share.   Shawn writes:

"I found that, given the right seat on an airplane so I actually have
room to open a laptop, I can get lots and lots of work done.  I don’t
know why it took so long to break through the “duh” factor, and I
finally started doing the same thing when I’m on terra firma.  I’ve
started setting aside 90 minutes or so every day, and set Outlook into
Offline mode.  Then I can do tearing through my inbox without
distraction."

Once, for a big project, I traveled back and forth from San Francisco to NYC almost every weekend for about two years.  I flew so much that United sent me a gift.  "We see that your travels often take you to New York, so we thought you might like a New Yorker desk diary."  That’s when you know you’re on the road way too much.

The point is, I’ve never been more productive then when I was on that plane.  My team HATED when I flew, because after I landed I always connected up and sent off 50+ emails that had been written while in the air.  It was my time to catch up on all of the unanswered email of the week, take a project status check, and get my my team’s ducks in a row for the following week.

I think Shawn’s on to something.  If you need to focus on your Inbox for a while, take Outlook offline and pretend you’re flying.  If only I could figure out how to get a complimentary drink and bag of peanuts, too…

One comment.

  1. Great idea Brad, and one I bet Merlin Mann would get totally on board with. I’m struggling right now with just *how* responsive I need to be… i.e. how long can that window be that I’m “offline”. I think for different jobs it’s a different length of time.



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