I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use a little boost in their energy and self-control. Whether you are working to re-find your focus after a few weeks of feeling distracted, or you’re wanting to boost your productivity to start chasing a promotion, here are a few tips from self-care suggestions to practical, work-oriented tips.
No screen time until breakfast
When you dive straight into emails, texts, and Facebook, you end up losing your focus and your morning succumbs to the wants and needs of other people. It’s much healthier to take those precious first moments of the day to do something relaxing that sets a calm, positive tone for the rest of your day. Exercising, meditating, or even watching the birds out the window are all great ways to start the day.
Set three goals for the day
Make a must-do list not a to-do list of three things you have to get done. Be realistic about what you can accomplish. “Limiting your goals takes the overwhelm away and keeps you focused. There is a secret power in the number three, as our brains are wired to think in threes. When you follow through on what you intended to do, you’ll end the day feeling great and motivated for tomorrow.
Start with the toughest task
Whether it means phoning an obnoxious client or making sense of wildly disparate data points, effective people give priority to their toughest chore. Finishing the most challenging and important item on a to-do list first frees up mental energy that would otherwise have been frittered away worrying about it. And it makes the rest of the day seem more manageable by comparison.
Multi-tasking in the morning, when you have lots to do, tons of energy and it feels like you can do two or three things at once, is tempting, but it sets your whole day back. Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus adequately on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain cannot perform both tasks successfully.
No is a powerful word that will protect your precious mornings. When it is time to say no, avoid using phrases like “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.” By saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments which allows you to successfully fulfill those commitments while your mind is fresh. Learn to use no, and it will lift your mood as well as your productivity.