Do you work from home, juggling work, family and a host of other things?
On days when you don’t have any meetings to go to, do you start work by checking your emails or social networks such as Facebook, Linked-in or Twitter? After following any interesting links and scanning the articles, do you move on to reading things you’ve subscribed to and find that if you’re not getting too sidetracked you are able to squeeze in a few more email replies too?
If so, it’s quite likely that before you know it, it’s lunchtime and you’re wondering where your time has gone! You then play catch up with tasks that have suddenly become urgent and end up cutting your lunch break short, or worse, missing it altogether!
Does all this sound familiar?
We often con ourselves, thinking that being busy equals being productive. I know because I used to do this too! Whilst online tasks can also be about learning, keeping yourself up-to-date and promoting your business, do they really need to take priority in your day?
When I first compared my unproductive days to my good and highly-productive days, I noticed how differently they started in the morning. On good days I would be up earlier, work on a project, new article or event, or brainstorm content for ebooks or workshops. Inevitably, this would be followed by some planning, whether planning the day, the week or a new project.
Now, I’m not a natural morning person but since I frequently wake up with new ideas in my head, mornings enable me to carry out creative or big picture stuff whilst keeping my mind free and undisturbed by the content of my email inbox! Indeed I don’t check my e-mails first thing anymore (not even via my Iphone!) which has made a real difference to the way I work. By the time I do get round to email I know I’ve already done a chunk of work and feel much more productive.
I know everyone starts their day differently of course: I know women who once all the home activities are done, start their work day by writing in their journal, deciding their goal for the day, meditating, going for a run or getting some admin out of the way.
They say you should start as you mean to go on, so whatever you do, getting your day off to a good start will help you to focus better and enable you to get more done at the end of the day.
So if you don’t yet have an effective morning routine could it be time for a change?
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Copyright 2009-2011, Ute Wieczorek-King