4 Ways to Make Your Workday Great from the Start
When you start your day on the right foot, you automatically set yourself up for a better workday. You start stringing those good days together, and you end up having great weeks. You do this for a month, or 12, and you won’t believe how much your life can change just by taking a little time to get your mind right before you start each day.
1. Develop a Self-Centric Morning Routine
A great workday starts with a great morning routine. You have the entire day to devote yourself to tasks outside of yourself. Start your day with you. Do something to help yourself get centered and ready to meet the day. This can be meditating, exercising, writing, reading or a creative side project. Try to avoid including news, social media, email or other tasks that focus on the priorities of others in your early morning routine. Once you find what works for you, commit to doing it routinely every day to reduce variables in one of the only parts of your day that you can control.
“It’s a simple act, but doing it the same way each morning habitualizes it—makes it repeatable, easy to do,” choreographer Twyla Tharp wrote in The Creative Habit. “It reduces the chance that I would skip it or do it differently. It is one more item in my arsenal of routines and one less thing to think about. “
2. Invest in You
Successful investors are not devoting all their resources to just one investment. Rather, they generally invest in numerous assets, ensuring that if one falls flat, their other investments will protect them from financial ruin. Your time, effort, talent and passion are your resources in the job market. Don’t devote them all to the job you currently have, because nothing is a guarantee. Your department could face cutbacks, or the company could even go out of business.
Invest in yourself to be ready to meet the world on its terms no matter what the workday may bring. Developing skills in areas like coding or soft skills can help you land a promotion at your current job or an even better job at another company.
Even if you don’t have a great deal of time to invest each morning, it will add up. Plus, you can turn your commute into an investment opportunity by listening to audio books or tutorials.
3. Prioritize Three Tasks for the Day
Sure, you’ll probably have other items on your daily agenda but restrict yourself to three to prioritize. Prioritizing more tasks can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Furthermore, you increase your chance of failure with each task that you add. Circumstances can and will intervene during the workday to prevent you from accomplishing everything you want. But you can generally manage to do three things no matter what. Once you’ve finished your priority tasks, attend to other people’s priorities or move on to other items on your to-do list.
4. Start the Night Before
As your workday winds down, set yourself up to hit the ground running the next day.
Check your calendar to see if there’s anything that requires preparation. If you’re in the middle of a big project, organize your notes and resources so that you’re ready for the next morning. Ritualizing the end of each workday helps your brain know that it’s time to switch off from work and remain that way by eliminating worries that you missed or failed to do anything.
No matter how much you prepare, not every workday is going to go well. However, by getting into the habit of beginning each day on your terms, you create a frame of reference so that you can better control your own reactions to external circumstances and meet whatever challenges come your way.