Hidden Pages

Here's why the Calendar trumps a 'to-do' list.

Any activity or conversation that's important to your success should have a time assigned to it.

That includes tasks that arrive via email.

Much of my works is teaching busy professionals how to live in the Calendar and only visit the inbox occasionally (rather than the other way round). The key to this is learning how to convert tasks that arrive via email into the calendar to be dealt with at an appropriate time in the future.

This process forces you to answer 3 key questions;

1.  How long will this take (ie: what size time block is needed in my calendar)?

2.  When do I have time (makes you check the calendar to see what you're already committed to)?

3.  What would be the best time for this task (given the rest of my workload already in the calendar)?

Asking and answering these questions gives you much more control of the task and your overall workload.

Research indicates that we are 81-82% more likely to accomplish a task when it's in the calendar compared to when it's on a to-do list.

You see, a to-list let you know WHAT needs to be done but it doesn't answer the question about WHEN you will get it done (only the Calendar does that). Sure, you can add a reminder date to a task but that only lets you know a date/time it needs to be done by, but it doesn't answer the question about WHEN you will take time to actually 'do the task'.

As Chris Bailey writes in his blog, "To-do lists get longer and longer to the point where they're unworkable. Appointment books [and Calendars] work. Schedule appointments with yourself and create time blocks for high-priority thoughts, conversations, and actions. Schedule when they will begin and end. Have the discipline to keep these appointments.”

So, the take-away from this is to start relying more on your Calendar and less on your memory or to-do lists.

Finally, here's a pic of the cover of a new white paper I'm working on - stay tuned for its release soon.

All the best!

Steuart G. Snooks | 0413 830 772


Don't be hijacked by email alerts!

Email alerts don’t cost you a ton of time, but they cost you a lot in attention - every time you receive one, the alert hijacks your attention away from what you’re working on.

When you shut off email alerts, you can bring a lot more attention to what you’re working on 'in the moment', without your attention being hijacked whenever somebody, somewhere hits the send button on an email to you.

See more about this at http://alifeofproductivity.com/10-killer-ways-tame-email-inbox

All the best!

Steuart G. Snooks | 0413 830 772


Quit organizing your email into folders!

A recent study by IBM asked the question: what takes less time, using search to find a buried email or trying to find it in one of your email folders?

It turns out that searching is much faster. On average, it took participants 66.07 seconds to search for an email compared to 72.87 seconds to find an email in a folder - but these times don’t take into account the time spent sorting the email into a folder in the first place!

These days it's much faster to sort and search through a single email folder than trying to find an email you've filed away in an email folder structure.

I show clients how to set up a folder called 'Filing Cabinet' and then rely on their computer's brain to search for what they want rather than using their own brain to find it in a complicated folder structure. And we already use this principle every day - whenever we do a 'google' search. 

Whenever I ask my workshop or coaching participants "what is google?" they reply "it's a search engine". I disagree - it's a filing cabinet . . . and it comes with a powerful search engine to find whatever we need in that filing cabinet!

So think of a single email folder (called Filing Cabinet) as 'google for your email'.

For those wondering how to shift from having folders and sub-folders and sub, sub-folders etc to a single folder, the key is to use categories (in Outlook) or labels (in gmail) to add criteria that will help when searching your Filing Cabinet. And the good news is that you can add multiple categories or labels, using whatever terms you think will help you when searching.

Love to hear how you go with using these ideas or if you want to have a chat about how to set this up.

All the best!

Steuart G. Snooks | 0413 830 772


"Email is THE leading cause of preventable productivity loss in organisations today"

Would you agree with this quote from Forbes Magazine?



Email is NOT going away!

Contrary to popular belief, email is NOT going away!

Sure, social networking is indeed gaining ground but at the expense of texting and voice calls, not email! 

See graphs below for details.