Missionless Statements

Dan Benjamin’s online talk show The Conversation is outstanding.

The Conversation

I watched Episode 27: Missionless Statements, which featured Merlin Mann and Jeffrey Veen (with host Dan Benjamin) talking about productivity, email, working for yourself, why mission statements are useless and a million other things that I found fascinating.

One of the nuggets of information mentioned, referenced a blog entry from Liz Danzico - Proposals for busy people. Danzico’s suggests that if you want to get something from a busy person (via email) then limit the choices you give them.

Instead of asking a client when they are free for a meeting, ask them if they are free on Tuesday at 10 am or alternatively on Thursday at 2 pm. Chances are you’ll save them time and you’ll keep the email exchange short.

Another interesting topic that came up was auto responder emails. I recently went on vacation for 4 days. When I came back I had a lot of email to sort through. If you’re going on vacation, why not tell people that you won’t be replying to any email at all. Instead, tell them when you are back to work and when you can be reached. Chances are, most of those emails sort themselves out or can wait until your return.

The amount of email we generate these days is insane. The biggest interruption to my workflow is email and phone calls. There are days when I put by phone on Do Not Disturb (DND) just to get an hour of work done.

I need to reduce my ‘check for new email’ frequency and stop being a slave to my inbox. I’ll often get an email that interrupts my workflow and pulls me away from my current task. This reduces my productivity during the day and is why I often prefer to work at night or on the weekend when the phone calls and emails are less.

I need to check my email less and hit the DND button on my phone a little more often.

If you get a chance, have a look at some of the other episodes from The Conversation or The Big Web Show. There is a gold mine of useful information in these video podcasts.

Posted in Web at 6:40 PM