Setting up a productive day

Today’s post is something I’m working on implementing. Over the last few weeks my productivity has dropped and I’m more focused on acting on the small, loud and urgent rathan on those more impactful projects and actions.

One of a better ways of implementing a success and driving positive action is creating opportunities to accomplish something that has impact. Doing i early into a day can set a tone for the rest of it. There are couple steps that I’m planning to use to make that early success possible:

1.Prep the night before

Having an evening ritual does help to keep things in check and flowing. As your day comes to an end spend 15-20 minutes on reassessing where you are and where you need to focus on tomorrow. This will be enough time to check up on your calendar for tomorrow, scan through actions, projects and waiting for lists.
Doing the prep a night before means I can get going as soon as I’m at my desk.

2.Set a short list of items

It’s good to be ambitious but very often day’s events can render any plan obsolete. Rather than get frustrated by the lack of progress on your key items set a small list of 2-3 actions that you will accomplish first thing in the morning.
For better impact put them on a small sheet of paper or on top on new page in your notebook so that they are the first thing you see.

3.Visualise completion and focus

Once you are ready to kick off your day start by looking at your list and visualise yourself completing these tasks. This will help clear the distractions and increase focus necessary to accomplish them. This doesn’t have to be anything elaborate simply see the end state of all the tasks you want to do and then get going.

4.Avoid your email

Eventhough I think email is one of the best ways to communicate with people and share your ideas it’s a nightmare to manage when sixty different people send something into your inbox.
If you really want to set your self up for a successful day avoid opening email as much as possible for the first 60min of your day or at least until you’ve accomplished your tasks.
At times you will want to check to see what’s going on or you may have a blackberry or other device to check email on your commute. If you need to do that scan for things that are ready to blow up if there are none make the point of shutting of email.

5.Pick the first item from your list

You’ve done all the prep work so now what’s left is to simply pick the first item from your list and get going. There are no more excuses.

As I mentioned above, I’m actually working on implementing this myself and I hope it will increse my focus and the amount of progress that I can make on daily basis. Once the 2-3 pre-planned tasks are done this should give me enough momentum to make further progress throughout the day.

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