Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Who's Up For the 1% Challenge? - An Excellent Time Management Strategy

Do you like a challenge?  I hope so!  I want to present a challenge the readers of this blog.  In the spirit of the title of the featured book for this site: The 1% Edge,  I challenge every reader to improve their productivity by 1% a day.  This is an excellent time management strategy!

Why 1%? Consider this, if you can improve by 1% a day, you can improve your effectiveness in 70 days! (It's also called "the slight edge rule".)   Really? Test it! (I sound like a broken record - but that's what a coach does!)

I find that fact in order to increase productivity -- to be more efficient and effective,  it does not take lots of big things, but in fact little things that are just done consistently.

So who's ready for the challenge?  Who is willing to join The 1% Club? Challenge your friends and colleagues to take on the challenge.  Invite them to join this blog and participate in this challenge. Here's your chance to lead your whole team to increase productivity by using this forum as your resource.

I'll be providing tips on how and where to find your 1%. Participates can post how they've achieved their 1% that day.

Here's your first 1% area: EMAIL
Email can take over your life.  In fact as part of the information coming into our workspace, in some cases we take as much time managing email as getting actual work done.

So here is your 1% Challenge: Sort Your Inbox Quickly - This is an excellent time management tip! The 1% edge comes in your ability to make decisions quicker combined with a specific strategy.

Email usually falls into one of 4 categories: Reply (or something that you need to take action on), Reference, Refer On, or Retire (had to find an 'r" word for delete).

So here's the technique. Set up 2 "temporary holding folders" for the first 2 "r's":
1. Reply-Action
2. Reference (this is something you need to hold on to for ready reference).

Where you can - reply quickly, if not put in Reply-Action folder. The same with reference -  move those emails into that folder quickly. For Refer On - forward immediately and for retire - delete immediately. Now challenge yourself to do this fast.  Don't belabor the sorting...just move through your email quickly.

Key tips: Create the habit of sorting quickly.
You might even want to time yourself or give yourself a time limit.

Ok...there's your 1% tip and challenge.  Please post your progress and if you need feedback on this technique, I'll be monitoring comments.

To your 1%!
If you need more help with productivity, time management or getting more organized, then you'll want to pick up the book or audio Organizational Strategies for the Overwhelmed - learn more here

Does your team need help? Consider bringing a workshop to your organization. I consider this one of 5 individual contributor competencies that should be delivered during onboarding. Learn more here.

Did you know this blog has it's own app?  Download The 1% Edge Portable Coach for mobile learning at your finger tips!


  1. Since I have a on of unsorted email, I felt like there was no way to start.. So, I made a quick decision and created one more folder called Old Mail. Dumped everything prior to Monday into that folder and ran the sort procedure on the I don't have a load of mail weighing me down and the border in me is happy knowing I didn't throw out something important without realizing it.

  2. Hello Anonymous!
    First I applaud you for taking action!...with that action you got a desired result!...a bit less stress with a clear mindset...but it's there if you need it!