Making Your Day More Productive and Rewarding:
This week is about making your day more productive but also more rewarding. Here are a few things to make sure to do first thing in your day and 1 thing not to do first thing in your day.
First thing to start your day off with should be that thing on your To Do list that is really important to get done right away but that you are not thrilled about having to complete. Many sources refer to this as “eating the frog”. This is a quote from Mark Twain that speaks about if you eat the frog first thing in the morning then you can go through the day knowing that the worst is over.
The next thing is to scan your To Do list for the Red Flag items, those things that must get done before you start to look at the little things that others need from you. This means scan your emails for any urgent stuff and deal with that. Try to avoid getting drawn into the problems that need solving, the unexpected interruptions and surprises. There are not too many things that cannot wait an hour while your get the red flags taken care of.
Then it is important to review your To Do list and do an assessment.
Firstly is everything that needs doing on there?
Are they all one action items?
This means that they contain an action word and are not part of a bigger project. An Example of this is you have to
- Arrange a meeting
This is a project and not a one action item. It requires you to do numerous steps to complete it. You need to:
- Book the space
- Send the email invites
- Write an agenda, and maybe
- Order coffee and muffins.
These are the one action items for the To Do List and not just the project of arrange the meeting.
Next look at the due dates
Prioritize the items based on due dates and these 5 questions:
- Does it take a step towards a big professional goal?
- Does your boss think it is a priority
- Does it make you money?
- Can it only be done today? (Due dates etc.)
- Does it lighten your mental load to get it off your plate?
These are questions from Laura Vanderkam a time management and productivity specialist.
Another important step in the morning is to say hello to and connect with your team. Whether it is your colleagues or your employees, if you make good genuine connections with them each day, it will improve not only your mood but theirs as well.
The one thing to be careful with doing first thing in the morning is sitting down to read respond to emails first thing. It has happened to most of us at one point or another. You sit down with your coffee and figure you will just respond and read for a few minutes and the next thing you know its noon and you haven’t accomplished what you needed to.
When you do look at all of those things that need doing make sure that you have planned some time into your day to do two things: One that you really enjoy doing like painting or reading fiction and one that is good for you, like exercise or meditation. Taking care of ourselves is the only way to stay productive and happy.
The last thing is to make sure that you are building in doing 2 things that are good to others like sending a thank you note or a note of encouragement maybe consider helping someone with a problem or paying it forward. When we do good deeds for others we reap many rewards a few of which are:
- “Doing good for others can have a powerful, positive effect on the immune system
- By contributing towards the greater good self worth and self esteem improves
- It can prevent people from becoming isolated, encouraging them to meet new people and step outside of their comfort zones
- Chronic negativity can be dismantled in the mind as positive energy flows from giving to others
Studies have revealed that kindness helps relieve stress, which is a huge problem in many workplaces.” (http://payitforwardday.com/about/why-pay-it-forward/)