What is the first thing you do when you arrive at your desk? Most of us will answer by checking email or listening to voice mail. This is the worst way to start your day!
Both checking email and voicemail set a tone, they take over our thoughts and put us in a reactive mindset, where other people’s priorities, not our own, take over. For many, it can then set the tone for the entire day.
Once on that reactive treadmill, we find ourselves less productive, and then at the end of the day feel like we didn’t accomplish anything we set out to do that day. You know, it’s the end of the day and you have worked your fingers to the bone doing stuff, only the things you needed to get done are still on the to-do list. Check out this list of things you could do during the day – no wonder you’re overwhelmed.
A better way to begin your day is to first thing begin with a simple task. Before the craziness sets in, you should envision what you want to accomplish that day. Imagine what at the end of the day you have accomplished that will give you the great pleasure of accomplishment. What will the end of the day show that you have accomplished?
Then, start on getting the important task you want to achieve broken down into specific tasks or actions necessary to accomplish the bigger complex task. Say that it would feel great to accomplish developing a marketing plan by the end of the day. To create your marketing plan there are many actions necessary, so make the list.
Your action plan may look like this - Choose two lead types; Find sources for new leads; develop marketing materials; source a printer; find the cost of printed materials, source an online service provided; find the cost of online marketing costs; Determine the budget available; choose a schedule of mailings and online ads; and so on. You can get more productivity hacks by clicking here.
Note the measurable actions on the list. It is easier to accomplish those actions than just a list of items one would typically make like; lead type, lead source, materials, printer, printing cost, an online source, online cost, budget, and calendar/schedule. Both lists cover the same items but the first put action to them.
Next, you need to set priorities that you want to accomplish and begin the day on those most important tasks when your energy is highest. Knock out those tough tasks first and then later those easier ones needing less energy can still get done as your mental focus fades somewhat.
This method helps avoid procrastination as tasks are done based on importance, not on what is most enjoyable first and least enjoyable last. This morning planning ritual should take no more than 10 to 15 minutes and help you get more out of each day since you don’t have to plan each step, just execute the action steps.
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