I think it took me way too long to learn how to start my work day off right… The workplace has evolved quite a bit when I first jumped in. I was a young supervisor in manufacturing. I would go in a little early to meet with my counterpart. Verbal passdowns were the norm, then we would write up a passdown for all shifts to see. When email came about – we would read all the passdowns from previous shifts. Next up came automated reports, emails and collaboration software to get started. As you can see the workplace really changed with the increase of information.
How do you start you work day off right? With the increased information and more availability of information – we used to start our day off reading and interpreting the information. I found it to bit too much. I found myself spending less time out on the floor at first. What was the best use of my time? Discussing what was going on now and what had happened.
Next, I would really sit down for 10 minutes to work out what my plan was going to be. Draw up some scenarios on the whiteboard. Figuring out the game plan for the day. What needed to be accomplished? What would make us feel we accomplished what was needed and then some.
When I moved away from manufacturing to an information worker, I did not forget the basics of what would help me get the most out of my day, week, month, and quarter. I would quietly sit down and plan my attack. Set up my Most Important Tasks…
Then I would open and sync email. Do email first and you become a slave to email priorities. It steals you time away from getting work done. I used to then take email off-line… I would only download messages (or send my messages out) – 3 times a day. I did not want the distractions of “you got mail” or waiting on the next email before I did something.
You have to start your day planning and making sure that you are focused. Get that great start and I bet you will have some pretty wonderful answers to this question. “what did I accomplish today?” I used to ask my team that question every once and awhile and sometimes hearing, “let me think about that” or “not really sure” is pretty disappointing.
Start your day well!
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