You get on the 6:23 metro train or drive in early to beat the morning rush so you can get a jump on the day and the competition. A few years back, this was a shorter and easier commute. The early trains are now more crowded and the roads are more congested than ever. You’re no longer the only early bird. The number has multiplied and it has become a jungle out here.
And then you get to the office where you’re master of the game. You know all the ropes, and this is your domain. Your Blackberry begins to buzz again and then you realize the real jungle is in your hot little hands. You are constantly looking at it and you carry it with you everywhere. It’s your cell phone! It’s your voice mail! It’s IM! It’s your laptop! And it’s your PDA! You are now BFF. Somewhere along the line these productivity-enhancing devices took over. They are now the masters of the game. They define the rules, and you are playing their game. Yup, they got you, and you can’t get out of the jungle. And you have no idea how all this happened.
You have 936 messages, covering a wide spectrum from those that need quick responses to competitive tracking emails. As if that wasn’t enough, the message light is blinking from the many voices reminding you to respond to the email they just sent 9 minutes ago. “This is nuts”, you mutter and in your animated state you spill coffee all over the paperwork on your crowded desk. You discover the real jungle is in your office and you carry it with you all the time and now you must find a survival guide.
Get your business back to basics, and remember why it exists. Are these emails and voice mails added value? Do they increase your top line? Do they help you retain a single customer? Do they help you acquire a new customer? Do they add to your bottom line? Get out of this jungle, get out of this quagmire and give your business a chance to survive. Set some ground rules. Maybe, no email after 4pm? Spend the rest on the day really thinking about the customer. And remember to keep your eye on the bottomline.