We've had a lovely visit with our daughter - heading back home today. We got to meet her friends, cook together, play games, talk - so nice to be together! On to our blog:
What is #1 on your agenda each day?
Read your emails? Read your texts? Listen to messages? Look at the mail? Nope.
Your first priority each day should be to look at your calendar, which should include your prioritized to-do list.
It is so easy (and tempting) to take a look at what has come into your inbox first thing in the morning. By doing so, however, you may become distracted by interesting or even important information, which will likely keep you from attacking your top priority for the day.
By tackling your top priority first thing in the morning, you'll be accomplishing the most important and most urgent item on your to-do list. When you need to take a break (usually after 45 minutes of concentrated work), look over your inboxes (mail, email, texts, etc.). But don't let them distract you from your work when you need to return to it.
Schedule times during your day to deal with your email and phone calls - but not at the beginning of the day (unless it is your highest priority!). Turn off the alerts that notify you of new emails to reduce further distractions. Notify your clients, co-workers and others of the times when you will return email, phone calls, etc.
By keeping your calendar in front of you, it will act as a filter when potential interruptions present themselves. If you are aware of your calendar and your to-do list, you may be able to request that the interruption take place at a more appropriate time during the day. For example, if someone needs to talk to you, ask if it might be discussed at a time when you anticipate you'll need a break anyway. Deliberate carefully before interrupting your work when you're on a roll.
I have a list of three or four things I do first every morning - my top priorities. That way, I don't find myself wandering through the day, but concentrating on those things which matter most.
More on Efficiency:
Three Steps to Time Management at the Office
Trivial and Strategic Interruptions
Creating Routines and Systems