We’ve all read and heard of many productivity related articles that speak to first 5 things to indulge in to make your day productive. Also commonly referred to as ‘ morning routine’. There are many different names and versions of the morning routine that people vouch for.
The essence of it remains the same though- Taking time every morning to re-energize your body in all 3 dimensions physically, intellectually and spiritually.
Robin Sharma, a top leadership expert, recommends spending 20 minutes every morning exercising, another 20 minutes reading/listening to inspiring and intellectually stimulating content and the third 20 minutes either meditating, praying, journaling and expressing gratitude. This is the simplest form to strive for.
The idea is to guard the first hour of your day to do things for yourself to empower, energize, revitalize and give yourself a power boost to plough through the day productively..
I propose a similar concept for the start of our work hours, that I like to call the ‘Work Day Power Boost’ – a morning routine for your work at your workplace! It doesn’t matter if you are at a corporate job or you are a business owner. Since we all spend the bulk of our waking hours doing WORK, we need to be more intentional about how to make that time productive and enjoyable. No, I am not suggesting you do jumping jacks at your desk(but I do know of workplaces and people who would do it!!)
What you need for the Work Day Power Boost:
– 5 mins of your focused time
– a dedicated journal/notebook with 3 sections in each page
What does the Work Day Power Boost look like:
As soon as you reach your desk and set your belongings down and while your computer is booting up (for those unlucky few whose computer takes a while to power up), open your journal/worksheet.
In your journal: create 3 separate sections on every page.
In the Appreciation section – write down any actions or words that reflected appreciation for you the past day. If you received an email – make a note of the sender and the date the email was sent. It could be a kind remark made by a colleague about helping out with the presentation. If someone thanked you for filling in for them at the meeting yesterday, make a note of it. A customer thanked you for picking up their bags and walking them to the car or praised you for the food you served at your restaurant. A client appreciated the strategies you shared…Or it could be the raving performance review you received. Any big and small things should be noted here.
(This section serves a reminder to you about the value you bring to the workplace. Often times we forget about our value or think about it in terms of only skills we bring..think beyond those and use this section to jot down those reminders). If you feel like no one appreciated you, take a moment to appreciate yourself as well as appreciate any other person who made an impact on you.
In the Accomplishments section: Take a few minutes to jot down what you accomplished the previous day. This is more open-ended. I recommend not approaching it from a task perspective. Don’t write down ‘I finished setting up 3 meetings’ or ‘finished creating the Test Scripts’ document. Instead look at it from a perspective of what skills did I learn or put to use. Eg: I accomplished using my newly acquired negotiation skills to steer the meeting towards XYZ strategy. I accomplished putting my scoping and estimation skills to use when I created the scope document. I used my interviewing skills effectively to make a good hire. I accomplished bagging the $20million contract with ABC company after months of working on it.
If you find yourself thinking I did not accomplish anything, write about what you would like to accomplish.
In the Priorities section: Now, you spend a few minutes prioritizing 3 things that MUST get done that day! This is where you tell me, I have a million things to get done and all are top priorities! I am going to strongly urge you to pick the top 3 from those million priorities. If someone forced you to pick three, you would!
This simple 15 minute practice will make a world of difference to you over time. No longer do you have to wonder what you accomplished when you have to write your performance review at the end of the year. No longer do you doubt yourself for the value you bring to the table. No longer do you feel overwhelmed with all the conflicting priorities that are always vying for your time.
Try this habit for the next 30 days consistently and see how you feel more energized about work.
Are there any other morning routines that have made a difference for you? Please share, would love to hear.