Fearless Five Fridays: Be Brave Enough to Ask "Why"

Children ask "Why" much more often than adults. Why is that? 

If you are a parent, or you can remember back to when you were a toddler, the word why weaves its way into many conversations. Children are not afraid to ask "Why." That's how they learn. The logic and nuances behind our decisions dictate why. Children -- little sponges that they are -- seek to understand our why. They should; otherwise they grow up to be automatons, blindly following directions and orders. 

Today, I'm asking you to begin asking yourself "why" more often. When we learned the 5 W's in language arts class, "why" is usually last in the list: who, what, when, where, why. Let's shift that order and make it first. Starting with why can help you to answer the other four more quickly and effectively, from a business perspective.

Wikepedia simply suggests the word is a "request for an evidential reason." Evidence: the facts, preferably persuasive, that support the reason for doing something. Stopping to ask yourself "Why" is a way onto the path of continuous improvement - a necessary ingredient to stabilizing and growing your business.

Instead of overwhelming you with the hundreds of "why" questions business owners could or should ask of themselves, in this periodic series I will pose specific "why" queries you may wish to consider. How you answer this first one, and what action you decide to take, can help you better manage your time.

BONUS: For parents -- here is a website to answer some of the thousands of science-related "why" questions you hear from your little ones. And yes, you can search for "why is the sky blue" on The Why Files.

Why do we check and read e-mail so often during the day? 
Understand, I am not suggesting that you ignore your e-mail. Consider, however, the amount of time you spend on it. More and more of our in-boxes are filled with Bacn that we want and don't get to, versus Spam that we don't want. 
Time management experts suggest that we schedule e-mail reading appointments, just like we (should) do everything else during the day. 

Let a valid Why drive how you schedule even a seemingly harmless task like responding to e-mail. If it's related to generating revenues, preserving a client relationship, or building relationships into revenues: Go for it!
It's easy to let time just drift by, reading and responding to e-mail that really is not urgent. Set up e-mail "appointments" during your work day -- and stick to it!

See also these suggestions on How to Give Your Inbox a Master Cleanse published on Mashable.com. Even the Bacn must be handled eventually; the article spells out some ways to help you do that. 
If your time spent on e-mail is eating into your business-building time, start shifting your focus. Box it into time slots and don't let it creep outside them. You'll begin to see results in other areas of your business life.

Comments are welcome. You are invited to share your thoughts.
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