SMS Sales Training Multiplies Sales

Skyrocket your productivity with the ‘touch it once’ rule

Let’s assume you start your day and there are three files that need attention. There are also two urgent emails or letters. You look at the first letter/email and read a few sentences then scan the rest, this is going to take some focus, you set it onto the ‘to do’ pile. You open the top file and there is an urgent task and you complete that, when the phone rings and deal with another issue or answer a query for the next ten minutes or so. You open the file again and an email enters your inbox from a client, so you stop to read the email. You quickly see that you need to do some other related tasks or check up on progress, but don’t have the time right now, as you need to prep for a Zoom call.

When work is coming at you from all directions, it’s easy to push even the simplest tasks aside. You may find yourself repeatedly looking at the same paperwork or email and promising to get to it later. You and your staff can waste an estimated average of 97 hours, or over 2 weeks per year. This form of involuntary procrastination can really kill your ability to get things done.

One simple solution is to follow the “touch it once” rule. The idea is to handle items only once and not shuffle them from place to place. It is great in theory but not always practical or easy. Don’t take it too literally though. This could be fully completing the task at once or determining the next action steps to move it along. If you touch it, do something like request further information, forward or delegate it, respond to it, whatever you do, keep some momentum going. Don’t open any email until you have the time and the right focus state of mind to deal with it. If I get an email from my Social Media team that says a new campaign needs to be approved by next Monday, My master ToDo list gets an entry “Review SM campaign – see SM campaigns Folder”. Email dealt with – a task created for my “Focus” time and next item please.

Following this strategy not only saves you time but also declutters your mental space. Unfinished projects play on your mind, which inhibits your ability to fully focus on meaningful work.

The same goes for emails. If you’re short on time, try prioritising incoming messages by dragging them into separate marked folders and/or set up calendar reminders to review or respond to a piece of correspondence. Emails management is another story and a seperate post or email message.

To determine whether a task requires immediate completion or just concrete steps to push it along, You could use rule of thumb: If it takes less than five minutes, do it right away. If it takes more than five minutes, instantly decide how you can move the project forward.

Following the touch it once principle ultimately comes down to discipline. But once you establish this time-saving habit, she says, “it becomes a no-brainer.”

Speak soon!

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