Are you starting off your day productively?
Mornings are vulnerable times. And I am not just saying this because I am most definitely NOT a morning person (though this gives me some standing).
Getting up from bed and still groggy with sleep, you can be overwhelmed with random thoughts that rush in your mind before you make a decision about what kind of day you are going to have. Unpaidbills, overwhelming to-do lists, unpleasant encounters with a boss or board member, looming deadlines and the like can start you off on a negative tone that will color your day and block your creativity.
Ultimately, in this first part of your day and especially the first moments of wakefulness, you are making a decision, whether you know it or not, about who you are and what your life will be like on that day.
Several articles tackle the topic of productive ways to start off your day.
Time management expert Elliot Hayes from findtime.com.au. suggests starting your day off with “output instead of input.”
”That means instead of taking in information – emails sent to you, favourite coffee,
chats with co-workers – try getting work out. Otherwise the problem is you
waste time, and by mid-morning you don’t feel like doing any more. ..So
first thing send the emails you need to, call the people you have to, write the
reports you’re required to.”
Hayes says getting things done ”will motivate you to keep going”. ”Achieve something proactive where you feel like you’re in charge and on top of what you
want to do. It will have a positive ripple effect for the rest of the day.
Tumblr founder David Karp, on the other hand, will have you avoid dallying with passive activities such as reading e-mails and reviewing tasks, in favor of sinking your teeth into your toughest problems to address during these first and potentially most productive hours of the day.
“Ask yourself this question the moment you sit at your desk,” author Ron Friedman says in an
article in Fast Company, reporting on “The Morning Routines of the Most Successful People:” “The day is over and
I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved?”
The point they all make is that you take charge of your day, rather than allow force of habit or random thoughts to determine its direction. Fight off passivity and procrastination and first tackle the projects or tasks without which r will not feel accomplished and fulfilled by the end of the day.
For Steve Jobs the start of the day is an opportunity to determine whether or not he is on track with who he wants to be and the life he wants to live and correct his course:
“When I was 17, he said in a Stanford commencement address, “I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most
certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need
to change something. “ And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.