Sunday, January 29, 2017

Unsubscribe – Except To My Emails

When marketing a book you need to do these two things:  be aware that you should not spam or waste the time of others.  But you also want to be more effective with your time and that means being better at dealing with your own in-box.

Jocelyn K. Cole, put together an excellent primer on this, Unsubscribe:  How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done.

“Email is broken,” she writes. “Or, more precisely, email has broken us. On a regular basis, it inspires hatred, guilt, anxiety, anger, and despair.  The very last thing we think about when we think about email is its utility.  And yet we know it’s a useful, necessary part of our everyday lives.”

We all know that email can be, paradoxically:
·         A time suck and a useful means of communication
·         A form of addiction and also a necessity
·         Filled with loving, useful, informative messages  -- as well as ones of hate, uselessness, and ignorance.

We get overwhelmed by the stream of emails flowing our way but in our quest to get our in box down to a manageable number we end up engaging in exchanges that force us to get back even more emails.  How do we control this?

Here are ways to reduce the madness:

·         Don’t check your email as often as you have been.
·         Respond to emails with short emails - anything long is best done by phone or in person.
·         Prioritize your daily goals and then work in time for email, but don’t let your inbox dictate the entire day.
·         Let others know that you can’t immediately respond to emails – take the pressure off of yourself to respond quickly.
·         Divide up your emails into categories, from “opportunities” to “fires” to “delete” to “if there’s time.”
·         See if you can get others to respond for you or instead of you.
·         See if an auto-response will suffice.
·         Dispatch with easy emails to get your in box totals down.
·         Unsubscribe from things you never signed up for or realize you don’t need to receive.
·         Use good subject lines to clarify what the em is about.
·         Never send em when tired, angry, stressed, depressed, hungry or under a deadline.
·         Don’t make strong accusations or engage in disputes via emails, unless you’re a disenfranchised consumer.
·         Don’t curse, threaten or escalate matters in an email.
·         Get unattached from annoying email chains.
·         Curb your desire to send a rude email.

To help with workflow, try to file emails in various folders, so that you don’t hold onto them in your in-box but you don’t misplace them in case they need to reference down the road.

“Let’s face it, email is killing our productivity,” proclaims the book’s back cover “The average person checks their email 11 times per hour, processes 122 messages a day and spends 28% of their total workout managing their in box.  What was once a powerful and essential tool for doing our daily work has become a near-consistent source of frustration, anxiety, and distraction from our work.”

Maybe what’s really needed is a better approach to time management – not just with email but every aspect of the business day or one’s life.  Check out Kenneth Zeigler’s Organizing for Success:  Prioritize and Get The Right Things Done, Second Edition.

He identifies the 12 areas we need to get a handle on:

·         Take control of your day
·         Project management
·         Organizing
·         Managing priorities
·         Finding more time
·         Controlling your desk
·         Handling interruptions
·         Managing, controlling, and writing emails
·         Managing the phone and using voice mail
·         Delegating
·         Planning meetings
·         Managing procrastination

So what does Zeigler suggest you do to be efficiently organized?

·         Accept the reality you won’t get everything done today
·         Have a portable master to-do list. Skip lines on your to-do list so you can fill in related details as needed
·         Focus on one thing at a time – for completion
·         Improve your communication skills to reduce conflicts, ambiguity, confusion, or wrongful assumptions
·         Train others to be effective and handle more, thus reducing what you need to do.
·         Batch like tasks or activities
·         Slow down, as speed causes mistakes
·         Defer immediate requests where possible as they may end up working themselves out before you need to get involved
·         Work around your natural energy – level cycles
·         Tell others our time is limited
·         Give others deadlines to act
·         Visualize the end result to something and then tackle the smaller steps to lead to such a result
·         Delegate often – but choose the right person
·         Reward yourself and others for completing a task ahead of schedule
·         Keep meetings short and focused
·         Avoid phone tag by offering days/times to connect
·         Don’t use post-its, only a master to-do list
·         Give yourself a pep talk
·         Even if a project isn’t due for a bit, get working on it now so you won’t have to do it all at the end

Good Luck!


2017 Book Publicity & Marketing Toolkit For Writers Of All Genres

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The Network of Book Marketing For Authors

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How To Craft Press Releases That Net Your Book Media Exposure

The right book marketing strategy for you

Overcoming Book Marketer's Block in 10 Easy Steps

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog 2017©. Born and raised in Brooklyn, now resides in Westchester. Named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby 

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