The start-of-the-day question
How do you start your business day? Do you check e-mails while still in bed, or leave them for the office? What is the first thing you do when you get to your office? Do you dive into your e-mails, plan/prioritize your tasks, or do you start with simple tasks?
It’s OK, any approach will do, but bear in mind that jumping into e-mails right at the beginning of the day, or planning meetings are actually taking care of other people’s priorities. What about you?
As every new day is a new chance to do something important, something more substantial, I suggest you start the day by asking yourself a provocative question. Here are some that might get you going:
- What is the most significant action I can take today?
- Which action can I take today that will have the greatest impact at my work/company?
- What should I change about my work strategy?
Answering any of these questions will set your mind on strategic thinking, which you should do to regain your focus. Spending only a few minutes thinking about possible answers, your goals will be crystal clear and you’ll know exactly where your efforts should go. You’ll be amazed by how your daily priorities change!
Also, I like to start my week asking: What have I forgotten, or missed doing?
This question will set you in retrospective thinking and will help you, not only to focus but also to stay on top of things. As this fast tempo grinds us daily, it’s not unusual to forget some great ideas we had but didn’t write down. Besides, reviewing the last week’s plan shows how much has been done and motivates you to move on.