Find the Right Approach and Reduce your Stress

19 Jan 2017

It’s not terribly surprising that a recent study presented to the British Psychological Society by John Hackston found that some people found receiving, replying, and managing their email inbox more stressful than others. The author suggested that different personality types will need to structure the way they approach their emails and to-do lists in different ways.

It all makes perfect sense to me (and I’m assuming most of you). I think about the way our “always on” MD likes to work compared with my preferred approach of working down a to-do list in a very systematic way that begins at 9am and ends at 5:30pm. Then I look at other people in the office who will use a mix and match of these approaches (as well as coming up with their own).

I thought it might be fun to take a look at some of the different styles of work that we have in our office and how this can be seen in the way we each use OpenCRM in slightly different ways.

The Scheduled

Sounds like a Martin Scorsese film, doesn’t it? 🙂 

In all seriousness, these are the people who have a series of tasks to do that are on a fairly tight schedule. This will usually involve a number of demos, training sessions, follow-up calls, etc. that need to be made at set times throughout the day.

Although these people will be checking their emails, looking at Opportunities or Projects, as well as a variety of other supporting material, they will largely be working from their Calendars.

It is vital that their days go according to plan to make sure they are in the right place at the right time for their next meeting or call.

The Man (or woman) with a Plan

Like our highly scheduled team members, our directors will have meetings and calls that need to take place at certain times. But unlike their more heavily scheduled counterparts, they will also have a variety of more fluid tasks that will be taking up the vast majority of their time.

These people will spend their time divided between their emails, OpenCRM system, and our other third party (and mostly integrated) tools like ClicData, Xero, etc. It’s not that they don’t use OpenCRM, it’s more that their job role requires them to wear a lot more hats.

They will rely on Activity notifications to remind them when time-sensitive calls and meets are due to take place, receive vital information from automated Reports, and dip in and out of all our systems to ensure the company as a whole is staying on track.

The Often Interrupted

Then you have our support team. They’re a great bunch of guys (and gals) who manage to stay on task and cheerful no matter how busy they get. Takes a certain type of person, I think.

These guys will live exclusively in our HelpDesk module, responding to Tickets, creating new ones, and solving all those little questions that come up when you use a sophisticated system like OpenCRM. And they do it all while picking up the phone and website chats from the beginning to the end of the day.

I personal struggle to get back on track when I get interrupted by a phone call or other question.

But not these guys, they have some very clever Custom Views and some Round Robin config that helps them pick up the next Ticket in the list the second they get off the phone with someone else.   

The List Maker

And then you get to the people like me who have a number of tasks to complete over the course of the day and/or week that are very rarely time sensitive (or they are time sensitive but we’re talking deadlines of weeks or months rather than hours and days). I know that, at some point in the morning (ish) I need to make sure that our social media accounts are up to date. Then I just keep an eye on them throughout the day.

I may need to do some data cleansing or follow up on some research I was doing on new data laws, but very little of this is particularly time sensitive.

So I tend to work off a list of today’s Activities, going through and picking up tasks, making sure I complete them all by the end of the day. These are typically recurring and/or follow-up Activities showing my regular tasks and reminding me in the description of what exactly it is I need to do or maybe where I left off last time.


If I tried to work like Graham (or our guys on support), I would find myself feeling overwhelmed and nervous all the time. If he tried to work like me, he would worry about missing vital information at a critical time.

It’s all down to job roles and personality types, you just have to find the right way of working for you.

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