It’s life hacking time! In this little column I share helpful tools and tips that you can use to get organized, improve certain aspects of your life and economize your how you spend your energy. For it to be a hack it has to be something that you can easily do or utilize on a daily or weekly basis in order to improve something about your life.
I’m being sort of “Captain Obvious” with hack No 7, but get used to using this one when things are heated and busy and you just can’t get around to answer those e-mails: Put on the auto-reply function on your e-mail account(s)!
There can be several reasons to activate your auto-reply and here are some of mine:
If you are having your vacation!
A no-brainer perhaps, but you seriously have to teach people the meaning of the word “vacation”. You have vacated the office and are not available in this period of time. Nowadays, we take vacations on different times of the year and your contacts have no way of knowing whether they can get to you or not, unless you politely let them know.
Personally, I inform the people trying to get in touch with me the earliest possible date that I will bet back to them. This leaves the response time open and puts less pressure on me.
If things are hectic right now
Writing this I realize I should have auto-reply on at least a couple of days a week. Some of my work is practical and this means that some days I don’t even have time to even look at my inbox. If I really need to be lazer focused on something and minimize all other “noise”, I might put auto-reply on for a day or a week, letting people know that stuff is going on and I really will get back to you at the end of it.
Here’s another hack for you, I have deleted the e-mail apps on my phone. The worst thing I know is when I walk in to a room and this happens:
Scene: 9:00 at any work location.
E-mail person: “Hi! Oh, have you seen/replied to my e-mail?!”
Me: “No, I haven’t seen it yet”
E-mail person: “But I just sendt it to you! Okay, but just get back to me…”
Do you see what is happening here? No, I haven’t seen it because I have been busy and: no, I haven’t replied because I haven’t had the damn time! I bet this is the case for a lot you you. If you need an answer right now or today even: the phone has this function called calling someone. Try it!
If you spend more time answering questions that leads you nowhere, than being productive in your own life
Don’t get me wrong, I love getting feedback, questions and connecting with my followers on SoMe and anyone who is interested in what I do, my clients, my colleagues and so on, but I am not doling out free training, performance and nutrition advice unless it is something really special. I really can’t afford spending time on it and it is not fair to my athletes or other paying clients, because they payed for my time and expertise, and should get what they deserve (pluss a litte extra from time to time). The free advice is what the blog and online articles are for. I’m sure you can relate in some way! We’d all like to help someone out, but everything has it’s limits. I know for sure that time and personal energy has! I’m sure you can relate to this even if you may be in a different live of work.
It may happen that I reply to an e-mail just after it hits the inbox if I happen to have the time and I used to feel pressured to answer A.S.A.P. However, you are entitled to managing your own time. Respect your own time and others will to.
Now, go ahead and plan your auto-reply message. Make it polite and informative, and maybe even a bit of fun!