Let’s face it, a lot of us have trouble starting the day—whether the culprit is the wrong side of the bed or merely the wrong foot, a good-morning person is hard to find! Each morning has the potential to be repetitive sequence of commute, coffee, and checking e-mail before you really hit your productive stride.
It’s a dangerous habit to let take hold. The first few hours of your day will always set the tone for the rest.
As Ron Friedman over at HBR points out, answering your e-mails places you in a reactive state, which is to start your day at a substantial disadvantage. So will you begin a sluggish descent into an overflow of e-mails or will you rise above the clutter and achieve your goals?
The path to productivity starts with a plan! It takes no more than five minutes at the end of the day to outline the following day. Simply listing and ranking your tasks in order of importance for the following day is an activity that will pay off in dividends—it allows you to hit the ground running each and every morning.
There’s no better way to maximize your efficiency than by becoming familiar with your responsibilities, having something to refer back to when things get hectic is invaluable. It’s the same reason we still utilize grocery lists, to-do lists, and New Year’s Resolutions.
Furthermore, you’ll almost certainly be sidetracked by one task or another. Distractions will always occur in the workplace, unforeseen problems need solving too! Yet, with a daily plan in place, it’s much easier to put a pin in your project, diffuse the disruption and proficiently return to the task at hand. This will serve to relieve the stress that normally manifests on busy days.
A daily plan should be specific and prioritized—an elucidated map for your workday. Productivity follows organization!