Maximize the First 30 Minutes of Each Day
13 February 2018 | 10:05 am
How do you set the tone and maximize productivity at the beginning of each day? Do you give yourself space to map things out or are you more of a wing-it kind of person? I believe how you START your day, sets the intention and momentum for how the rest of the day’s will transpire. When you begin with 30-minutes of focused attention to what really matters most – that time will pay generous dividends by the end of the day.
Here are strategies maximize productivity and ensure a successful day in the first 30 minutes:
- Turn OFF your phones. It’s all right. That magical device that is glued to hands seemingly every waking minute of the day, delivering phone calls, chats, text messages and emails at an often-alarming rate does turn off. So does the desk phone! Take 30 minutes to create space for focus. It will all be there when you turn it back on. It’s just an hour. And there’s voicemail! If it’s important, they’ll leave a message or call back. If you want to maximize productivity – turn off your phones.
- Close your door. If you’ve got one. This sends a signal to your team (or your family if you are a work-from-home entrepreneur) that you are unavailable unless there is an emergency. If you are new to the practice, educate your team what procedures you want to have in place when your door is closed. Once everyone is on board that this is your time to create, get strategic, work a business plan, and map out your day, they’ll recognize the importance. Especially when they see the RESULTS. If you are forced to work in an open environment, consider headphones. I used this technique in one organization, and people eventually got the idea that when your headphones are in, it’s the equivalent of a do-not-disturb sign.
- Use smart time-blocking. My recommendations? Book all meetings to start after 9.00 am. If you’ve always had early morning meetings, this might be a tough change, but if needed, can you start your “clock” an hour earlier to ensure that you have a full 30 minutes to complete your planning?
- Start off-site if possible. Can you complete your 30-minute mindset and strategy session BEFORE you walk through your office doors? That way when you are actually in office – you hit the ground running. Once you’ve mastered this, teach your team. Once they’ve mastered it – your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will go through the roof. A study done by Ctrip shared that remote workers are able to complete 13.5% more than their comparable office workers. How’s that for food for thought.
- Quit the clutter. Seriously. Inboxes. Coffee cups. Paperwork piles. These distractions are stealing brain bandwidth and steering your attention away from streamlining your day. Out with them! Maximize productivity by decreasing visual distractions.
- Check off that early morning workout. If you can muster it, get your exercise out of the way first thing. Start small if you have (15-30-minute increments) but do start. You’ll feel like you’ve already checked one big daily goal off your to-do list! Cheers!
- Nix the gossip in the bud. Honestly, gossip is one of the biggest time, energy, and productivity drains an organization can have. We Aussies call a gossip a “flibbertigibbet”. Studies show that 39% of workers admit that gossip and workplace chat are their biggest productivity killers. Another study conducted by Equisys also shared that the average employee spends 65 hours a year gossiping in the workplace! Cull this invasive “thief” from your company if you truly want to maximize productivity.
Starting your day in planning mode will help you stay focused, on track, and set the right tone for not just your day – but that of those around you. Lead by example. Pay ATTENTION to the INTENTION you set for each day. Your productivity, profitability, and bottom-line results will reflect your efforts!