30 days to reaching your potential day 20: Organise your communications

We are constantly being bombarded with information from a variety of sources.

With the average person using email, phone calls, sms, Facebook, Twitter and more, our networking can end up taking a lot of time and can reduce our productivity. Today we are going to change that.

There are a lot of different opinions on how this should be done, and personally I am experimenting with the process myself at the moment. I am still a fan of keeping the tools I use to a minimum,, but am now reviewing methods for combining tools.

Here are a few things I am trying right now:

1. Using a Smartphone: After being a fan of the Tim Ferriss philosophy of avoiding smartphones for years I have finally embraced them. The reason? I have become tired of having to fire up a computer and log into several different account profiles to be able to do the few things I regularly do: read and reply to email, comments, etc. I have found that I can do approximately 40% of my main communications work on my blackberry via email, facebook, phone calls and sms. Having all of these come to the one device without having to login to several accounts saves me time. Sure it may be addicting but one thing Tim forgot to mention is that you can turn the phone off and avoid comms from all channels at once!

2. Using the computer only when work has to be done: Now that my comms are off the pc, my time on computers has been reduced to only the essential (document creation, invoicing, Skype calls, etc.). If I could write my blog posts and send attachments via email (still looking into this), I could probably reduce my time on the pc even more thanks to the blackberry. My business partner uses an I-phone and says he can do about 60% of business activities through that, so that could be an option for the next phone I purchase. This also means I'm not wasting time online but rather jumping on the computer only when it is really necessary.

3. Sticking to facebook as opposed to sms: with more people getting facebook mobile, this is cutting down my costs big time. Usually I don't require an instant reply anyway and if I do I call the person.

4. Using tips and techniques learned from others: There is a plethora of information out there for tinkering with your email, twitter, etc. Also there are lots of ways of updating multiple profiles at one time. Rather than re-write the content, here are some links to some of the content I have found useful over the last year or so:
  1. Review how you are using your communications.
  2. Try to make some adjustments for more efficiency.
  3. Reduce the amount of information you read (blogs, papers, magazines, etc.) to focus on quality vs quantity.
  4. Consider buying a smart phone if you don't already have one.
  5. You don't have to be perfect overnight, but any improvement to how you use your communications is a good start.