I’ve read a number of blogs and articles recently about how successful people start their day or the habits they follow. As I reflected on the insights in those articles, two things became apparent.
First, people want to implement simple changes to make them more productive.
Second, helping businesses improve their processes is enhanced by helping individuals make the most of their time.
In light of those “aha moments” here are some easy-to-follow habits to help you use your time well. Not everything will work for everyone, so try them and see what works for you. The important takeaway is for you to feel more organized, in control, and less stressed by adjusting your routine.
Take control of your email.
- Don’t leave messages unread when you leave for the day. Otherwise you are starting off the next day already behind.
- Respond, file, or delete email when you read it the first time. If you need to take action later, flag it or leave it in your inbox.
- Create rules for emails you receive on a regular basis, especially ones that are informational only. Let your email client help you keep the important ones front and center.
- Unsubscribe from mailing lists you no longer value to eliminate clutter.
Start your day right.
- Check your email first thing in the morning when you get up. Reply to the ones needed and send any new messages on items that are on your mind.
- After your morning check-in is over, get some exercise and eat a good breakfast.
Build a routine and eliminate unnecessary decisions.
- Eat the same thing each morning or prepare breakfast in advance the night before.
- Pack your bag for the gym the night before.
- Put the items you need for the day together so you can grab them all at once as you head out the door and not have to track things down (or forget them altogether).
- Take a 5- or 10-minute break in the morning and afternoon to walk around. Getting away from your desk helps clear your mind re-energizes your body.
- Keep a To Do list and mark off items as you complete them.
- Give yourself deadlines.
- Periodically clean your desk by throwing out or filing items that have accumulated.
- Put time on your calendar to reflect on your business or job and what you need to do to make it more valuable or profitable.