What’s the first thing you do each day when you sit down at your desk and get started? They say it matters because it sets the whole tone of your day. ‘They’ means productivity experts, freelancers, online entrepreneurs and other solo workers who need to make each minute count. Among them, it’s a bit of common wisdom.
Like setting priorities and managing time, this is something you should consider because by thinking about it, you can take control of it. What is the right way to get started? It differs from one person to another, but here are some ideas culled from the experts.
Many decide to start the day by checking email. They make the first few minutes at their desk communication time. This is useful because it helps you decide which tasks need to be done today and which are most urgent, but it can also become a time-waster that makes your whole day run late. Two ways to avoid this are to:
- Deal with only communications that are work-related. Ignore personal emails for now or create a separate business email account if you don’t already have one.
- Save replies for later. When you check your email, you don’t necessarily have to reply. Short replies are okay, but if you have a lengthy message you must write, make this one of your daily tasks and prioritize accordingly.
It’s probably best to stay off social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, even though those are communication channels. Since these can be distracting, it’s better to create a separate social media time during your day.
Your List of Things to Do
It makes sense to create a list of things to do and prioritize this list first. But that’s not always the best approach. You may find it easier to sit down at the end of each day and create the next day’s list of things to do. This way, you can get started on your list of tasks first thing, rather than must create it.
Create a Starting Work Ritual
As you sit down to work, you may want to create a ritual that gets you into the zone to be productive. Some freelancers call this ‘preparing for battle.’ The goal is to get you into the mindset for work. You can do this through meditation, music, a review of your work goals, a review of yesterday’s achievements or anything else you think would motivate you and get you into the proper mood.
Give some thought to how you start your workday and ask yourself if there’s anything you can do to make it smoother and more productive for you.