Never check your social media, email or news first thing in the morning.
Research shows that checking your email or social media accounts first thing in the morning derails you from focusing on the most important things that you want to achieve in your day. Why does this matter? It matters because we know that the early morning hours are the most mentally productive time of your day. Therefore, it is recommended that you use it for your own growth and development or for applying your creativity to your big tasks for the day.
When you are paying attention to what other people want or need from you and responding to their needs, or using that time to focus on what other people are doing on social media or the state of the world on the morning news, then you are not using your creative, high energy window to the best of your ability. Instead, spend that time trying to work on getting a jump on what you need to complete that day.
Schedule your activities throughout the day.
Most people use some form of calendar to schedule their meetings or project deadlines. Some people even go so far as to schedule the time that they will allocate to do all their tasks throughout the day, e.g. completing activities like making calls to clients, working on projects or carrying out tasks assigned to them during the day.
Instead of using a calendar, some people choose to have a simple to do list. On the list, they may just indicate the tasks to be completed on any given day with anything that is not completed on one day, being rolled over to the next day and the next.
Whatever system you decide to use, make sure that it is one that you are comfortable using. This is the best way to ensure that you stick with it and use it consistently. It is also recommended that you use one system to keep track of everything that you have to do throughout your day, whether personal or professional. This is one way to minimize the chances of things falling through the cracks.
Leave space in your schedule for the unexpected requests that come up.
There is a danger when planning your day, that you may include too many things. It is important, when working out your schedule or preparing a to do list, that you make sure that there is some free time allocated during the day for the unplanned items that arise which require your attention and action.
It is also recommended that you prioritize the items that you need to complete during the day. This ensures that you are clear about which items must be completed if you are faced with a time crunch.
Marjorie Wharton is a trainer, facilitator and coach who works with individuals and organizations to help them improve their performance. She is based at the Sagicor Cave Hill School of Business in Barbados. Follow her on twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. For more of her writing visit https://marjoriewharton.live