DisciplineGetting organizedToolkit

Increase Productivity: Avoid Email in the Morning!

By July 25, 2012 No Comments

What would it look like if the Marines were sales people?  You know the Marines. The folks who get up at 0:DARK:30 and run 10 miles, do 100 push-ups, practice the obstacle course and ready themselves and their teams for any eventuality?

They do all of this before the rest of the world has even felt for the snooze button in a half-conscious state.

In any endeavor, discipline is the key.

Here are 5 things that you can do before the rest of the world wakes up:

1. DON’T. Being truly disciplined is deciding what not to do, and every day you have an opportunity to decide what NOT to do.  Our favorite – email – is one of the biggest time-wasters we battle with.  Email can wait until the world wakes up, so do not open it.

2. Prepare. Instead of churning through e-mail, read two or three blog posts or short articles on a skill you need to improve, a piece of industry knowledge that will help your prospects or clients or a high-stakes project you are working on.

3. Prospect. Take the insights you just gained from getting prepared and do some proactive pursuit. Send very short, custom notes to high-potential prospects sharing an insight and making an “ask.” (DON’T look at your inbox)

4. Delight. Since you know your clients’ challenges, send them the same very short, custom notes that get at something they are working on.  And don’t ask for anything in return. They will be surprised that you thought of them even before they have gotten their day started.

5. Invest. In yourself. What is a long-term goal that you can use 30-60 minutes chipping away at right now? Long-term goals come into near-term focus when you tackle them day-in, day-out. Devoting time to your own personal goals gives you the internal fortitude to churn through the work that may be less enjoyable.

And always remember that as you are doing these 5 things, the Marines are practicing too.

Written by Craig Wortmann. You can find him on and Twitter.

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