May 2020 Are Your Daily Habits Helping You To Achieve Your Goals?
As you know, our daily habits can work for, or against us in achieving productive days and achieving our goals. In this article, we will look at whether your daily habits are effective, or and if some need to change.
Starting the day
You probably start the day the same way and have been doing so for many years. Get up at the same time, conversations with your kids and wife (or not if it’s too early), breakfast at the same time, look at text messages and/or Instagram at breakfast, or have breakfast in the car on the way to a meeting, office or site. My question is, could you be doing something differently before work that is a better way to start the day?
For example: Many of us automatically look at our phones and emails when we wake or at breakfast, but it has us looking at our electronic devices from early in the morning (and I think it’s one thing we need to do less of). I know you probably need to check if you have any urgent calls or texts, so perhaps try looking at it, and then give it a break until after breakfast.
So months ago, I decided to keep my phone on silent before work and decided not to look at it until I had finished breakfast. I also started getting up earlier so I could go for a swim or do some exercise. It was hard for the first 3 weeks, but it became habitual after about a month. Now I consider it a great new habit, because it has given me increased energy for the entire day, rather than relying on coffee all day.
So do you start the day in a positive way that helps you go to work with more energy and an upbeat attitude? If so great! Keep doing it. But if you answered “I think I could do something a little different”, why not go ahead try something new?
When you arrive at work, do you say hello to the staff, then look at what’s in the daily calendar for the day? Or, do you arrive at work, say hello to everyone and then go to your laptop and start making phone calls and then go through your emails.
How you thought about a daily plan?
If you don’t have a daily plan or at least a to-do list already written, I would suggest doing that first up, and prioritise what you should do first, so you have a plan of action for the day. I find doing my daily plan the day before, prior to leaving work, allows me to hit the ground running when I arrive at work the next day.
“Eating the Frog first”
Mark Twain famously said, “if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you.” ‘Eating a frog’ means doing your worst or hardest task, and you should do it first thing in the morning.
I used to procrastinate starting a hard task; I would do all of the easy and urgent tasks first, and leave the hard task until later, but later often meant days later. But after reading about doing the hard tasks first years ago, I would start my morning by spending just 15 – 30 mins on the hard task, and I found that it would make it so much easier to come back to that task later in the day and finish it.
Working at home after work
Do you have a habit of finishing your working day, then going home and working on quoting or some other task? If so, my question is, could you have done this work during the day at the office? You could try starting your working day earlier, or delegating some tasks to your employees, so you can minimise or even eliminate the need to work at home. Often we don’t think some tasks can be given to employees or outsourced, when in fact, we can! We just have to make the decision and show them how to do it, and it will save you time in the long run.
My point in this article is to help you to question which of your habits don’t work effectively, and can be changed to help you have more productive days and achieve your goals easier. I hope it has made you review your daily habits!