The First 2 Hours

Hi this is Cyril from Work Smarter: Live Better. In this video I want to share one very simple tip that can have a dramatic impact on your performance.

I’m at the moment working with one of my clients, a big client an international business and I’m working with their managers and each manager is receiving on average 200 to 300 emails per day, and so they feel that email is overwhelming their day. They feel like it’s a rat race, it’s like the guinea pig trying to do emails all the time and running and running and running and doing emails during meetings, in-between meetings, mornings, evenings, and so on.

Most people now, the first thing they do when they get to the office is they open their laptop and they do email. Actually, more and more people tell me that it’s not even true. They said, “The first thing we do when we wake up is to do our emails.” I ask a very simple question to the people I coach. The simple question I ask is, out of 10 email you are receiving, how many will have an impact long term?

That’s a simple question. You take the first 10 emails in your inbox and you tell me how many will truly have an impact long term on your performance? And the answer I get normally is one or zero point something, which means 90% of this volume of emails we’re receiving will have no impact long term on our performance.

Now I have one simple advice for you on this one. Protect the first 2 hours of your day for long term priority. Don’t jump on emails first thing in the morning. If we do agree that 90% of the email we’re receiving will have no impact long term, why do you want to spend the best time of the day, when your brain is fresh in the morning, to jump on the inbox?

Block the first 2 hours of the day and you say for those 2 hours, I’m going to be working on one of my long-term priorities and then you’ll jump on your emails. I actually suggest that you block a recurring meeting, every morning, to work on a long term priority.

Now if you need to have a quick check in the morning, you’re working in an international role and you need to check for those, the few of you that really work in international role, and you need to have a quick check first thing in the morning because you might have received something very important, or a big bomb, have a quick check and that’s fine. But there’s a big difference between a quick check and being completely absorbed by emails in the morning. So block your first 2 hours of the day for something which is really a long term priority, not emails.

I remember one of my clients and he said to me, “Cyril, I was having a dinner with a big CEO. Super successful CEO of a big company. And he shared with me his one tip, and his one tip was exactly that. His one tip to be successful was that the first 3 hours of his day was blocked on long term impact, not on emails, not on urgency. To the point that if his team had scheduled an 8 o’clock meeting, which was on something not important or not long term, he would start working at 5 to make sure that the first 3 hours from 5 to 8 was on priorities, on the long term priorities, and then he would do his meeting at 8.” A little bit extreme, but that’s what made him very successful.

This is this week’s Work Smarter: Live Better tip, hope you enjoy it. If you have any tip to share about how you can start your day with something, doing something that really matters, or any other tip that can help all of us to work smarter, to protect time for what’s really important. Please share with us and put it below and we can share with everyone.

You have a lovely day.

Until next time.

Take care.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}