Mornings can be hectic to say the least. Most of us battle the morning rush, which includes getting the kids off to school and getting ready for the day ourselves. When you work at home, how you start your day matters more than anything else.
In fact, how the first few hours of your morning goes is how the rest of your day goes. If you start lazy and unproductive, it will carry into the rest of your day. When you work for yourself, lazy work days are not optional. You work on “event” time and not “clock” time. You don’t get paid by the hour, you get paid by results.
Work the system in your favor and you don’t have to work till five o’clock everyday. Work until your most important objectives are done. Let me share with you a few steps that will enable you to focus and get your most important work done early.
1. Start each day by answering these two questions.
I journal in Evernote every morning. It’s part of my morning success routine. I have a serious of a few questions (journal prompts) I ask myself each morning. Two of the most powerful questions are as follows:
What would make today great? This question allows me to look afresh at my work each morning. What’s on my existing to do list might not be the same as what I really want to get done today. This is an important question to ask each morning.
What are my plans for today? Even though I have a written to do list, I like to ask this question as well. Typically, I will write down no more than five or six items that I consider to be my focus for the day. Sometimes it comes out of what I wrote in relation to the first question and sometimes not. Either way, writing down a new “must do” list each morning gets you re-engaged on what matters most for your day.
2. Select your top priority and complete it before doing anything else.
From the list of five or six items, I then determine which one is the MOST important one on my list. I then start my work day with what I call a “focus” session. This is usually a 60-minute, uninterrupted work session. I learned an important truth from Gary Keller’s book The One Thing, and it is this: Until I finish my ONE thing for the day, everything else is a distraction.
Notice that I’ve said nothing about checking email or social media. I have developed a personal policy that I can’t check email or social media until my one thing is done. Is it hard? Yes. Because we are often addicted to email and social media. Instead, make it a reward for getting your most important thing done first.
3. Take a break, check email, and social media.
Once your most important task is done, take a break. Get up and walk around for a few moments. Go on a walk in your neighborhood. You also now have permission to check in with the world via your email and social media. I can’t stress how important it is to wait on your email.
As Brendon Burchard has said in the past: “The email inbox is a convenient organizing system for other people’s agendas.” Don’t get me wrong. It is important, it’s just not the most important part of your day.
By putting in a few personal policies you can become a super productive person even when working from home. Remember, how you start your day is often how the rest of your day will go. Let’s start productive.