flagnoredI came across this quote on twitter at the weekend. My friend Brian suggests “Flagnored“.

We all succumb to self-defeating behaviour like this – right now I have 17 flagged messages in my work account and a further 42 in my personal account. My thoughtless approach to this backlog is to clear them out, last-in-first-out, skipping some of the more difficult emails.

Of course, this serves only to make the problem worse, leaving you feeling overwhelmed, and your erstwhile correspondents feeling under-valued. The busier you become, the more the issue grows.

The solution’s obvious, right? Prioritise the emails, and tackle the most important ones first. But in my experience, the lizard brain finds ways to sabotage this approach. Instead, schedule some time with yourself – as little as ten minutes will do – once, twice, five times per week, to review the work you’re doing, and make sure you’re acting on the most important things.

If you don’t, no matter what you intend, you’ll be sending out precisely the wrong messages to your correspondents, and you’ll be wasting time working on the wrong stuff.

Getting clarity on what constitutes the most important stuff can be helped with coaching. To find out more, please get in touch.