Image credit: RyanMcGuire via Pixabay
Do you always have difficulties in achieving your work goals each day? It could actually be because you start your day wrong, with mistakes that could be costing you plenty of hours in productivity.
Certain things can be done to help you get a good start everyday. Here are some of them.
1. Take Time for Yourself and Meditate
It’s a bad idea to wake up and immediately start rushing. You need to dedicate some time to yourself. Even five minutes will do.
You can sit in a quiet corner and pray if you are religious. Alternatively, you can meditate. Take deep breaths and silently commune with yourself. Find something that you are grateful for and dwell on how blessed you are during your quiet time.
Taking time off to focus on yourself is great because it centers you. It allows you to calm your mind and just be in the moment. You will feel much more prepared to face your day after that.
If your work is sedentary in nature, then your lifestyle is bad for your health. You need some exercise to start off your day. You can carve out the time for exercise by waking up half an hour earlier to accommodate your fitness needs.
The key to exercising within a limited time is to do workouts that are intense. Walking is a good way to start your day, especially if you are not as fit as you should be. You can walk your family dog while you are at it (assuming you have one).
You can also opt for higher intensity workouts such as interval training or rope skipping. If you have a bicycle, consider using it to travel to work if the distance is short.
Starting your work day with exercise will boost your mood and prepare your mind for the challenges ahead.
3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
There are many hours between the last meal you eat at night and the time you wake up in the morning. You cannot afford to starve your body beyond its limits—at least not without consequences. And that’s why you should start your day with a healthy breakfast.
A healthy breakfast will provide you with the slow-acting sugars you need to see you through most of your hectic work days. If you eat the right things, then your energy levels should be able to stay even, which in turn will help you be consistently productive until noon. You can then eat healthy snacks during your mid-morning and lunch breaks to keep yourself productive and energetic throughout the day.
Don’t be afraid to indulge in a cup of coffee or two if you cannot function without your drink of choice. If you start the day by being moody, the rest of your day will be hellish as well.
4. Prepare all the Things You Need for Work Ahead of Time
Make sure all the things you need to start work has been organized at least the night before. Scrambling to get your things ready before a work day takes up time that should be spent getting things done. A person is more productive at the beginning of the day, so maximize that by doing most of the actual work.
It is also easier to start where you have left off, so before you shutdown your computer for the night, make sure everything's ready to go the next day. Having all the things you need within reach also prevents you from getting distracted, so you could focus more and do more.
5. Start Work on Time
If you are going to work remotely, it is better to leave your home early. You never know what will come up on the way. It could be an accident on the highway or something else that takes more time than usual.
Arriving at your workplace of choice early will allow you to have a little bit of time to compose yourself. You will not be forced to reach your destination panting as if you just ran a marathon. Tardiness tends to disorganize the mind and throw plans into disarray. You really do not want to feel rushed.
Even if you work from home, time is still of the essence. You need to set a working schedule and stick to it throughout the day. It is imperative that you are at your workstation on time. What client is going to take your work seriously if you don't respect your time and theirs?
6. Greet People with a Smile
People will react to you based on your behavior. Snapping and glaring at colleagues and clients is no way to conduct business. So, don't be that wet blanket that just destroys everyone’s mood.
Greet them with a smile and say hi. Such a simple gesture on your part will impact how people interact with you throughout the day. It will certainly make professional relationships much better for you.Being nice to other people costs nothing.
7. Organize Your Workstation
When your workstation is disorganized, your mind is likely to be just as disorganized. It can be frustrating to look for important work items and not find them when you need them, just because they are buried under all the trash on your desk. What would happen if you need to find a form or two in a hurry a few minutes before an important meeting?
Develop a habit of organizing your workspace for a few minutes each day. Everything should have its proper place. That way, you can find what you need easily even during a blackout.
8. Check Your Voicemail and Emails for Emergency Last-Minute Tasks
Reading all your emails can take up a lot of time, which could be used for more important tasks. However, they are one of the most popular forms of online communication. So, what you need to do is take about 15 minutes to scan through your messages. Separate the important and unimportant tasks. Take time to reply to those messages that are urgent and leave the rest for later.
Do not make the mistake of reading through all your emails and forget to check your voicemail. There is literally a phone for every person on earth. Many people use their mobile phones to communicate with everyone about work.
If you forget to listen to your voicemail, you may miss last-minute changes that could impact your entire work day. Then you will be left scrambling to catch up the whole day once people notify you of the changes. Is that what you want to deal with?
9. Write Down a To-Do List
You need to have a sense of direction when working. Multitasking and not knowing what you should do at any given time is just a recipe for disaster. That’s something you want to avoid at all costs, which is why a to-do list is very important.
After you have checked your emails and voice mail, write all the tasks you intend to accomplish for the work day. Arrange the tasks in order of priority. Use the new knowledge you garner from your morning email and voicemails to ensure that no urgent and important tasks are forgotten. What you consider to be a small mistake may slight a client and cause him or her to withdraw a project. You will end up losing money if that happens. No one is going to be happy with you after that.
10. Have a Status Update with Relevant Parties
Walking into a meeting unprepared is like going to war without any weapons. You will hurt your chances of making a good impression on your clients.
So, before you actually hunker down to work on your tasks, have a short status update with all you are collaborating with. Discuss the different roles each person will have as well as the tasks each person will need to accomplish.
Bring up the documentation that you may need for your presentations for the day. Are the documents well-formatted and ready? Do they need final edits? If so, determine who will be in charge of editing and distribution of the final products.
If certain milestones have yet to be achieved, the status update meeting is the right place to bring up the issue. Find out what is creating obstacles to achieving the work goals for the day. Help to determine the possible solutions to the problems at hand.
Be sure to be polite and very deliberate in how you handle everyone at the meeting. You want to create momentum for the pending projects without isolating your team members or making them discouraged.
A good and productive work day does not just happen on its own. It is not some miraculous feat. It will take a little bit of work on your part as well as preparation in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly. All that hard work you put in at the beginning of each day will soon become a habit. And when that happens, your work days will stop being the stuff of nightmares and begin to produce fruits of success.