Take a moment to answer the following 4 questions:
How do you start your workday?
Do you start your workday by reacting to whatever comes at you first?
Or, do you start your workday with an ingrained routine?
And if you start workday with a routine, is it an optimal routine?
In one of my previous posts, Be Successful First Thing in the Morning, I emphasized the importance of starting your day the right way. Over time, it makes an enormous difference.
Perhaps you already have your “ritual” to start your workday – for example, you might start your workday by brewing coffee and checking and answering your email. But have you ever considered other (and possibly better) ways of starting your workday?
It might seem that checking your email first thing in the morning makes a lot of sense, as it helps you stay up to date. Unfortunately, it comes with a very high price: It throws you into a reactive state. Even if you’ve already planned what to do after you are done with the email, it will will open dozens of “drawers” in your mind – and it will become much harder to focus on your planned task at hand.
Focusing on a single task at a time is the best way to get anything done. However, focusing on a single task can be a great challenge in today’s information-overloaded environment.
For this reason, I recommend starting your workday by working on your most important task first – after you start your computer, check your Swift To-Do List to see what’s the next most important task for you to do right now, and immediately take action. Don’t do anything else until you make a progress on that task – don’t check any news or social sites, don’t check your email, don’t chat with your co-workers.
Even if you work on this chosen task for just 15 minutes, it will make a huge difference in your overall productivity and ability to focus. After you make a progress on the task, feel free to check your email – now it won’t affect you as much, as it will be easy for you to get back to your started task after you are done with the email.
Plus, you will feel really good about yourself. Right from the start of your workday, you will feel productive. And that can carry you quite far.
I’ve used this approach myself to write the Swift Mind Freedom e-book. Every morning, before doing anything else, I’ve been writing the book for 45 or 60 minutes. It worked great. However, whenever I didn’t start the day by writing, I usually didn’t get to it at all. Remember: Opening email can be dangerous :-)