Do you greet the day with a groan? Or do you greet it knowing you are going to be as productive as you’d planned to be the day before? If you find yourself somewhere in the middle, there are ways you can jumpstart your day and I have some tips for a more efficient morning (which will lead into a more productive day!)
Here are my tips:
- Wake up in the right mindset. If you try to push thoughts of work out of your head until you’ve completed your morning yoga or taken your walk or eaten your breakfast you may be doing yourself a disservice. While you don’t want it to consume you while you are doing something else ( I believe in being present in whatever you are currently involved in) you can’t escape the fact that at some point you will be starting your commute or settling into your home office; draw a mental picture of how your day will be and focus on the positive. Starting your morning in control or by treating yourself to something (like yoga or a long walk) will put you in a better frame of mind and make the day ahead more pleasant.
- I always like to refer to Brian Tracy’s mantra of “eat that frog.” What this means is to focus your efforts on the worst task you have awaiting you. If you nibble away at it, you will get it out of the way. Additionally, procrastination is mentally exhausting.
- Note what your top three priorities are and focus on those. What do you absolutely, positively have to finish that day? If you know what those tasks are you will be better able to manage your time and complete those tasks. It’s not likely that every task you do has to be marked “urgent.”
- You are sometimes your own worst enemy, especially as it relates to interruptions. For those of us who work from home, there is the lure of “I really should vacuum, do laundry, run errands, etc. etc.” or your cellphone is on your desk and the alerts from messages or texts keep distracting you. If you’re like me, when you’re working you will have ideas pop into your head that you simply don’t want to lose, but those ideas can also pull your concentration away from the task at hand. My advice? Jot those ideas or to-dos down so they aren’t vying for attention in your mind and you will have peace of mind in knowing you won’t forget them because you’ve written them down.
- Focus on your emails after you’ve put in a good hour — or two — on other tasks. Yes, I said it. Do NOT check your email first thing in the morning; doing so puts you in a reactive mode and takes you out of the task at hand. If you “train” people to understand you will be working at 8 am but will not be checking emails until 10 am because you want to focus your time on critical tasks, chances are they will understand.
Once you’ve eaten your frog or focused your energies on a particular task, reward yourself by taking a break before jumping into the next item on the list.