I had a master networker on my talk radio show last month, Charlie McDermott. I'm not going to talk about him too much, you can click here to listen to the podcast, if you want. I do recommend doing that, by the way. But there was one thing he said that really caught my attention. He said schedule everything, which I had heard before. And it does work. If I have written down that I will work on my newsletter at 1:00, at 1:00 I will stop what I'm doing and start on the newsletter.
This is assuming, of course, that you have control of your schedule, which most entrepreneurs do. Anyway, experts generally recommend scheduling at least a week in advance. Now, if you're scheduled to do a mailing and someone calls you with a job, it may be a good idea to go off your schedule and do the job. But having a schedule to start with really helps keep you focused.
Charlie took this one step further than I'd heard before. He schedules email. He checks his inbox twice a day, at the same time every day, and responds to them at that time. I thought that a little extreme, but Charlie said that when diverting your attention from what you're doing to answer an email, it takes about fifteen minutes to get back the momentum you had going before. That's a lot of time!
I just got a new Macbook, with the most current version of Mac Mail. Before, if I had the program open, any time I got an email, a red dot and a number showed up by the program's icon. I could never see that without itching to see what it was. But guess what. It doesn't do that now. Apparently, they knew what Charlie knows.