Small Business Resources: The OHIO Method

February 27, 2013

I'm always searching for ways to boost my productivity and have mentioned on the blog here before how I've streamlined my to-do lists process. I recently heard Bob Pozen, the author of Extreme Productivity, mention on during a television interview that he has a process for tackling email: "the OHIO method." OHIO stands for "only handle it once." When you receive an email that you need to react and respond to, do it right away so your inbox doesn't pile up. Pozen says:

"No 'I'll respond later' is allowed," Shapiro says. "Responding later means you take three times longer to get through your email than taking care of it the first time, because responding later means you have to waste time finding and rereading that email... or even worse, the time wasted reminding yourself over and over to get to that message."

How often do you open your inbox and see numerous emails just sitting there waiting for a response? It sure happens to my email inboxes (both professional and personal). I've recently benefitted from setting aside a few chunks of time each day to respond to emails and get rid of others cluttering my inbox. There is less time lost to sorting through emails as well as rereading emails I've already received and figuring out if I need to respond and what to say. Adopting the OHIO method isn't easy - and I'm still sorting out how much time I spend conquering email - but I think it's a simple step towards becoming more productive. Would you try the OHIO method?

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