Whether you are employed in a full-time role, or are a startup entrepreneur or a freelancer, I have realized that all our mornings start with the rush to make lists and prioritize requests, emails, calls, and now, even WhatsApp. A whole lot of communication is getting in the way of striking things off to-do lists that go on endlessly.
It is time to take control. How? By being selfish.
Me time first thing in the morning
There is nothing like using the quiet mornings at work to focus entirely on you. A task pending since last night or last month? A detailed email you have been meaning to respond to? A claims submission you have been putting off? Your own to-do list for the day? Block off the first hour or two each day to focus on tasks you need to complete for yourself. Not only does it set the tone for the rest of the day, it also helps you evaluate your bandwidth before you take on more work.
A priority to-do list for the morning
Depending on how many hours in the morning you are allocating to this me-time, have a to-do list of three or four critical items ready as soon as you get in to work. You could work on these the night before or during your morning commute. Don’t deviate; don’t check Facebook, check off every item on the priority to do list first.
Begin each day with the most creative or time-critical task
I have realized that the tone of my day is defined in the first couple of hours. If I feel accomplished, I keep going. So it is important that I do the good, creative, fun work early in the morning, or the tasks that are time-critical. As long as the first couple of hours are productive, I am good to go for the rest of the day, even week. And as it turns out, I am not the only one. According to biologist Christopher Radler, “People whose performance peaks in the morning are better positioned for career success, because they’re more proactive than people who are at their best in the evening.”
A morning that starts with proactively taking charge of your own deliverables before becoming the valued team player that you are can change a lot of how you feel about your work for the rest of the day. Do you want to be a headless chicken reactively taking on new tasks, or a level-headed person who gets into work with immense clarity about their own schedule before they commit to anything else? The choice is always yours to make.
Read Also: Routines that will kickstart your morning