Randy Dean's Timely Tips

You may have read Timely Tips on Randy Dean's web site, but now you can interact with it here on Blogspot.com. Please feel free to add comments and tips of your own, and thank you for your continued interest.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Timely Tips© Volume 4, Issue 5; May 2007: Set Your E-mail's Auto Send/Receive for Every 60-90 Minutes

Dear Timely Tips Reader,

Several months ago, I wrote a Timely Tips that strongly recommended that you not "bling" -- meaning that you avoid the bad habit of constantly checking and reading e-mails as they come in. This is a very damaging habit in regards to your overall productivity, as you basically spend the majority of your time dealing with small-level urgency items rather than putting necessary effort on your bigger, more important tasks, projects, and activities.

One of the things many of us do that contributes to the bad habit of "blinging" is having our settings for "Auto Send/Receive" in our e-mail account set too frequently. I know many professionals that have their "Auto Send/Receive" set for every 5-10 minutes. Of course, if your e-mail software is set to check every 5-10 minutes, you will be receiving messages all throughout the day. And, if you are easily distracted, every time your e-mail checks and delivers new messages (with the accompanying "blinging" sound -- thus the term "bling"), you will likely jump from what you are doing, lose your train of thought, and check these new messages. Every time you do this, you lose your focus and your forward progress on your projects and tasks.

There is an easy solution for this -- namely, adjust your "Auto Send/Receive" settings in your e-mail account to a time frame significantly longer than every 5-10 minutes. Preferably, you'll set your "Auto Send/Receive" settings to 60-90 minutes or more. If you aren't constantly getting new e-mails, it sure is a lot easier to keep your focus on your designated projects and/or tasks. I personally have my "Auto Send/Receive" set at 90 minutes, and I don't feel I've lost my appropriate responsiveness at all. It just allows me to be more proactive and maintain my focus.

Of course, every e-mail software program has a different method for changing your "Auto Send/Receive" settings. Here's how I changed mine in Outlook 2003:

* First, go to your "Tools" drop down on your menu bar

* Then, go to "Options"

* Select "Mail Setup"

* Then, go into "Send/Receive"

* Then, adjust your settings in your "Schedule Automatic Send/Receive Every _____ Minutes" to 60, 90, 120 or more minutes, and then hit "Close".

In Outlook, it is that simple. Figure out how to do the same in your e-mail program, and now you can avoid the continuing new message distractions and help yourself avoid this damaging "blinging" mentality and behavior. And now you might actually get some bigger items knocked off your list, and feel more in control of your work and life. Good luck!!

New "Taming the E-mail Beast" Teleseminar Scheduled -- Tuesday, June 5th -- 2:30 p.m.

Due to my crazy travel schedule so far this year, it has been a couple of months since my last "e-mail sanity" teleseminar. Well, I've put another new date on the calendar, for all of you that have been patiently waiting for another session. As a reminder, this free 50-minute call (your only cost is your normal long-distance charges for dialing in) provides seven key strategies for regaining control of your e-mail account. For more information, including an option to register, visit:


Remember, there are only 90 spots available on this call, so I recommend you register early. Feel free to also share this information with your friends and co-workers -- I like to fill these calls up. And, at the end of each of these calls, I open up the lines to answer your specific e-mail management questions. So sign up today:

Looking to Save Time Starting Your Own New Business? A Great New Book ...

I've recently run across a great new book on starting and running a new business. This book, Tactical Entrepreneur: The Entrepreneur's Game Plan, is by Brian Hazelgren, a noted consultant, author, and college lecturer on business planning and entrepreneurship. I like the book because it is set up almost like a workbook vs. a traditional book, and can help pinpoint areas of weakness and opportunity in your business plan. I've already found a few new tips I'm planning to enact. If you are running your own small business, or are thinking about starting a new business, I recommend this as a great read to make sure you are doing "due diligence". Here's a link with more info on this new book (note the many offers for "freebies" in conjunction with your purchase):


Where in the World is Randy?

I am getting ready for a trip this week to sunny and HOT Tucson, Arizona to present at the Annual Conference of the Law School Admissions Council. I'm also hoping to get in some form of a desert/mountain hike while there (no rattlers please!) In coming weeks, I'll be in central Pennsylvania, Maryland near D.C., northern Michigan (for some planned R&R), and the beautiful town of Frankenmuth, Michigan. If you see that our schedules might cross, please send me a note and maybe we can meet up.


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