Frank O’Brien of Inc.com just posted an article about an anonymous advertising agency that shuts off their phones and emails on the first Monday of the month. The agency states that this allows them to focus on creative needs and methods to implement strategy better for their clients. They are basically stating that by turning off communication with the outside world, they are able to focus more clearly on the needs of their clients.
I love this concept! One of the biggest complaints people have is that they are not able to focus on their daily tasks because they spend too much time answering emails and going back and forth with those outside of the company. If you have a set date and time each week or month that you are unavailable, it becomes the culture of your company and those outside know to not send “the world is on fire” emails and bother your employees.
I’ve asked my staff several times to set their “out of office auto-reply” for certain times of the day so they can focus on specifics tasks. Consider this if you’re trying to drive new ideas and grow your key accounts.