Dwight D. Eisenhower said “Plans are nothing; planning is everything.”
The first hour of your workday sets the tone for the rest of your workday.
If you are overwhelmed before you start the workday, what will be the results for the rest of your day when challenges arise?
“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” Thomas A. Edison
Here are 7 things productive people do in the first 15 minutes of their workday to help them stay productive for the rest of their day.
1. Top producers arrive at the office at least 15 minutes before required time.
Productive people know the importance of beginning work early. Leave early for work without the pressure of being on time, instead leave your house early and arrive at the office relaxed.
Top Producers set a calm tone right from the start of their workday and give themselves an extra 15 minutes to be ready for work (Lombardi).
They always arrive at every appointment 15 minutes early so they can avoid events that cause anxiety.
“Few people have any next; they live from hand to mouth without a plan, and are always at the end of their line.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
2. They arrange a neat and orderly workspace.
Similar to a surgeon performing an operation and a chef working in the kitchen, productive people make sure their tools are in proper position before they begin their work. Every minute counts in the operating theater and kitchen, so too in your workspace! Productive people keep their workspace organized so that they don’t have to spend unnecessary time looking for what they need.
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Alan Lakein
3. They review what they have done previously.
It’s good to review what you have done previously, especially if you’ve just returned from the weekend or holidays. Top producers review where they were previously to prepare themselves for work by reminding themselves where they left off previously and what is on their to-do list, instead of jumping straight into a task.
4. They identify no more than 3 important tasks for the day.
Productive people know they will be overwhelmed if they plan too much for themselves. To stay focused at work and prevent themselves from multitasking, they identify no more than 3 important tasks for the day. Once the most important tasks are completed they focus on the next level of urgent and/or important tasks.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
5. They take a moment to close their eyes and visualize how successful their workday will be.
Many athletes use visualization techniques for training and competition, productive people run through positive images of success and achievement in their mind. They mentally rehearse and practice what they have to do for the day and program their subconscious mind. When it’s time for them to actually perform the task, they find it much easier.
6. Productive people take care of their needs first, before helping others.
“A good plan is like a road map: it shows the final destination and usually the best way to get there.” H. Stanely Judd
Productive people know the importance of fulfilling their own needs before helping others. They determine their own priorities first and slot in other people’s requests later. They don’t try to be supermen or superwomen and help everyone in need. A mother tiger takes care of early body by eating first before her cubs knowing if she doesn’t she will die and then not be able to take of her cubs.
7. They are grateful for work and challenges ahead.
Productive people remind themselves each morning how fortunate they are to have a job and be of value to others. They see challenges as opportunities to grow and stretch themselves. They look forward to work each day. When you feel good about your work, it removes any negative feeling or procrastination you may have that prevents you from being productive.