How you start your day determines more than your next 8-10 hours. If you are intentional in planning and mapping out each day before it begins, you can start chipping away at your bigger picture goal list.
Here's a look at how I roll:
- I'm a 5 am Miracle believer, so early rising to get to planning is key.
- Coffee. Necessary.
- Bust out my bullet journal/to do Moleskine and transfer any items not completed the day prior, add meetings and times.
- Carefully choose tasks and meetings - if it's not a clear yes, it's a clear no (or it is to be delegated away).
- Pick the top three tasks for the day that will get me to my pre-defined goals (these will have already been determined in annual/quarterly planning) - highlight these.
- These top 3 tasks will also be turned into sticky notes that sit on my monitor at work - as a reminder. Feels good to crumble them and toss them when I'm finished.
- Aim for "equilibrium zero" - inbox zero, project management zero, to-do zero, home base zero (more on these zeros to come...).
- Bust open the laptop and schedule blocks of time to complete what needs to be done.
- Work my plan all day - conscientiously - isolate myself from distractions, work one task at a time, consolidate into the fewest number of systems and actions possible, choose strategically.
- At the end of the day, I always keep track of my "little wins" - I maintain a running Google doc, but you can also email yourself, use Apple notes, whatever it takes. Record and celebrate your progress every day - and you'll be ready to spin it up when it's time for your review (and inevitable promotion).
I also like to spend my Sunday evenings reviewing the previous week and mapping out what I'll do the following week. Wine helps. It kills off the Sunday Night Panic that we all are so familiar with.
So how do you start your day?