How do you generally feel at the start of your day?
Do you usually feel focused with total clarity about what you are going to achieve that day?
Do you jump straight into dealing with tasks, appointments and emails with a feeling of panic because you have too much to do?
I suspect that for many it is the latter!
The results are often frustration, as you haven't done all that you would have liked, and a general feeling of dissatisfaction. This happens if you approach the day by reacting to demands, rather than controlling the direction.
But your day does not have to begin this way.
Instead you can choose to start the day with clarity about what you want to achieve. This will help you keep focused, even when you are busy, as you will be in control.
Start your day with clarity and be in control
The good news is that spending just 10 minutes at the start of your day is all that is required. When you are clear about your actions for the day you will stay focused and increase your effectiveness.
Spending the first 10 minutes of the day in preparation will enable you to:
~ actively prepare for the best outcome.
~ be purposeful instead of reactive.
~ have a positive attitude which inspires you.
How to use the first 10 minutes of your day to keep you focused
Before you begin the day, take 10 minutes without any distractions to prepare. Use the following as a guide to help you plan your day and keep focused.
Notice how you feel - It is really helpful to notice your mood, energy level and general feelings. Developing self-awareness helps you to manage the day and plan appropriately.
Review your appointments - Make sure that you are aware of, and prepared for, any scheduled appointments. This will also show you what other time you have available.
Decide what you want to achieve - Make plans for the day, referring back to your longer term goals. Think about what outcomes would make this a good day.
Identify the one task you must achieve - There may be a particular task which you must do or would like to accomplish. Intentionally setting this as your goal will help you achieve it.
Prioritise your list - Once you are clear on your tasks and appointments, prioritise and schedule these into your day.
Schedule challenging or high energy tasks first - You are likely to have more energy in the morning so it is wise to do your challenging tasks first. This will also stop you wasting energy thinking about 'that task which really needs to be done', as you will have done it!
Avoid checking your emails first thing! - It is easy to get sucked into dealing with emails and before long an hour has passed and you haven't really done anything important! Treat email as a task which is scheduled into your day, rather than an automatic activity which consumes your time.
Gratitude - For me this is so important and helps to keep me grounded. Start every day with at least one thing you are grateful for. Evidence shows that this will help with a more positive attitude. Even when we are struggling there is always something to be grateful for.
It can be tempting to get straight on with the day, without a clear plan, especially when you are busy. Taking just 10 minutes at the beginning of the day to prepare will provide the focus and motivation required for you to have the best outcome.
The good news is that once you start your day this way, you will be far more effective. This is because rather than reacting to the events of the day, you are clear about what you want to achieve. You will also save time, far more than the 10 minutes it takes you to prepare!
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog
My name is Diane Benson and I support busy professional women in their personal and professional development.
I am passionate about working with women to achieve more fulfilment in their lives. As an experienced coach, I provide support which will enable you to be more effective, reduce stress, build resilience and and achieve a healthy work and life balance.
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