I often write about “driving your day” but what does that look like? It starts before you even log into your computer.
1. Get in the right frame of mind.
This can be different for different people, but here are some ideas that you might want to try.
Read some uplifting material … motivational quotes, “feel good stories”, your favorite blogger or uplifting writer
Work out. You will need to fit it into your schedule, but morning has always been my “go to” timing for a workout, even with kids and a busy job I made it a priority.
Read your OWN “feel good” book containing a list of all the things that are positive in your life. Create one today and Add to it often, and pull it out whenever you need “reminding” that life is good.
Park your “personal baggage”. A tough thing to do for many people, but try to leave any personal worries behind so that you can concentrate on your work. At least if work is going well then you will feel better for that.
“Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.” William Penn
2. Get your “To Do” list organised.
Review yesterday’s list and add the items that need to be on today’s list.
Take a little time to think through whether there are other items that should be on the list. If you manage several project areas in your role, then keep a list of those major areas handy to prompt you.
It’s now time to scan the email and pick out items that need to be on the “To Do” list, don’t process all your email yet … just identify the key ones that need to be processed.
Check voicemail and add important items to the “To Do” list.
Check your calendar for scheduled activities … meetings etc. Make sure they are on the “To Do” list.
“Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste of your life, or master your time and master your life.” Alan Lakein
3. Prioritise your “To Do” list.
Look for the Important items.
Look for items that move you closer to your goals.
Look for items that give the best return on your effort.
Look for urgent items … but ensure they are are also important. (Other people’s emergencies do not necessarily become your priorities.)
Look for quick wins.
“Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.” Zig Ziglar
4. Now you can execute … start to knock off those tasks, starting with the highest priority items and knock off the quick wins as you can.
Some other thoughts:
Just because the phone rings does not mean you need to answer it. Use call display judiciously and plan time in your day to process voicemail.
You do not need to process every email as it comes in either. Use filters to create “folders” for non-urgent emails. Schedule time to process those emails. Switch off that little alert that tells you an email arrived!
When new tasks come along make sure you prioritise them and schedule them into your existing tasks.
Do NOT celebrate every task done or small task completed. Stay focused on knocking off tasks.
DO celebrate meeting milestones and major wins.
Remember technology is a tool … use it as such, and don’t be a slave to it!
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Benjamin Franklin
Being your best at work feels good, has a positive impact on your life and should maximise the time you have available for the other things in your life.