How you handle the start of your day can shape the rest of your workday. You could even say it could determine your after-work day as well. Successful people tend to thrive on good routines and habits. Developing a more consistent approach to start-of-the-day routines will lead to more good, productive days.
- Show up on time
This seems like a no-brainer but it is more than just getting to the office on time. Leave yourself time in the morning to eat a good breakfast and take time the other steps on this list. Don’t his snooze which can put you behind through the entire day. Traffic always seems to be better when you are not running late as well which helps lower your stress level.
- Take time to reflect
Take a few minutes to think about where you have been, where you are, and where you are going. Think about projects and what you have accomplished last week or so far, this week. Think about what you would like to accomplish today…
- They visualize and plan the day
Think about what needs to be done to get projects back on track. While your reflecting visualize what a win looks like at 5:00 PM. This will also give you an opportunity to consider the challenges you could face so you can make the necessary changes.
- They anticipate distractions
Fires will happen you will need to put them out. They key is leaving time and flexibility in your day to deal with them without adding stress. Some call it “living in the margins”. Leaving margins for the unknown in your time budget. Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, leaves what he calls scheduling buffers. These 30 to 90 minutes blocks of nothing on the schedule are used for developing longer term strategy.
- They say “no”
Successful people learn how to mitigate distractions first thing in the work day. Learn to politely tell co-workers you will converse later in the day versus at the moment that you arrive. If course at times there are real emergencies, but learn to discern a real emergency and when you can just say “no”.
- Be sure to greet the team
If you are a leader it is good to build in time to greet your team. Your “hello and good morning” could be the contagious start of the day for your coworkers. You could say this flies in the face of suggestions 1 through 5, but if you start early you can be at the office to greet your team as they come in. Dang, we are back to tip number 1 and that snooze button.