This blog post is in opposite response to an article I read on entrepreneur.com this morning by James Clear titled “8 Steps to Having Wildly Productive Mornings” which you can read here – after you read mine ;)
Clear’s article raised some good tips, some of which I absolutely agree with, in particular, raising your energy, not your time. This is by no means a hate post – but I noticed at the time of writing his article had generated 184 comments, from both sides of the fence. Strangely I do pretty much the exact opposite each day to everything he proposed – And most days I have ultra productivity, albeit quite full on.
Here are 8 ways I do the opposite and get cranking results –
- Leave your most creative tasks for late in the afternoon or night and get crucial tasks like calls, emails and dreaded items off your to-list first. I’m traditionally not a morning person. I switch on like a firecracker at night, for example right now, it’s 11:55pm, the house is dark and this is my second post in the last hour. If you have read the book Eat That Frog by Brian Tracey you will know that Tracey advocates doing the hardest and most procrastinated task first, hence “eating the frog”. How do I know this works? Because I spent years in corporate sales and made countless sales calls first thing in the morning when that was the last thing I wanted to do. But the results came. And besides, people are in their offices in the morning so you can actually catch people and do business.
- As soon as you enter your office space review your to do list and mark the items of priority from 1 to 5. Make a coffee and do the first task. I agree with Clear’s point about preparing the night before, but review it in the morning again. First thing. If you don’t use to-lists they are a good tool. I know many people get overwhelmed seeing heaps of tasks on them. As long as you can appreciate that a to-do list is not supposed to ever end then you will be fine. Find satisfaction in striking things off the list each time. And at the end of the day go through what you ticked off so you can reaffirm your days work. It’s a tool.
- Open emails in the morning and scan which ones you know you have to action asap. If you’re an entrepreneur or part of a critical team then you will appreciate that email plays a significant part of business. Don’t be afraid of a big email inbox. I received an email the other day from Ramit Sethi, founder of iwillteachyoutoberich.com (no, I won’t get paid if you click it) that put email into perspective – It’s a tool, your objective is not to get your inbox to zero. Prioritise what needs to be actioned and who needs a response from you. Organise them into sub folders, flag them, add a reminder, what ever works for you. But for the love of God don’t ignore email, especially if you run an online business. You’re online! And I will add, operationally, if you are part of a team where your actions are important, open the email and do the work.
- Keep your phone on and by your side. Yes, that’s what I said. Learn to multitask. You don’t have to action every message but a quick glance, assess and acknowledgment of what’s coming in can equal results. My online presence, although not as large as bigger players, is still strong with those that follow me because I engage promptly. This is the game we are in. If your hustle is online or it relies on fast responses then be willing to thumb your screen and move on quickly. People’s attention spans are short and they will forget you or find someone else if you don’t reply quickly. Welcome to the busy world of business. Oh, your making another coffee? Did you know you can respond to a tweet at the same time!
- Work at a temperature that’s comfortable. My office is a constant 28 degrees celsius in winter and around 24 degrees celsius in summer. Why? Because that works for me. What works for you? When you are comfortable you work productively. Don’t be cold – shaky hands from shivering wilk maek yuo typ funy.
- Get up, go for a walk. When you get a mental blank or hit a wall go for a walk and shake it off. I agree with Clear on the point of sitting up or standing up during work. I have two desks in my home office, one is tall and one is at your general height. Working on a tall chair can keep you alert. But if sitting on a fitness ball works for you too then do that. Oh, your going for a walk to the bathroom? Did you know you can reply to a comment on the way at the same time? Maybe not at the “actual” same time.
- What’s this about fasting until lunch? Food does not equal reward. Food does not equal state change. Food is nutrition. Eat breakfast! It doesn’t have to be a bacon and egg roll; it can be a smoothie, a handful of nuts or avacado and tomato on toast. Come 10:30am if you haven’t eaten anything then your productivity could be going down, along with your metabolism.
- Get a morning routine or ritual happening. Ok, I’ll agree totally with that one. You got me! Tony Robbins’ Hour of Power is a good place to start if you have nothing as of yet. The Digipill app has some great meditation sessions (if that’s your thing), or “pills” as they are called, essentially audio files grouped into a digital pill cabinet that you click on and listen away. Or you can put on your favourite track and fist pump all the way to your office. Let’s be honest, sitting in traffic is so much more fun when you’re busting a move and getting “in the zone”. And if your office allows it then continue the tunes throughout the day – music can be a powerful stimulant for productivity. For proof – it’s 12:33am and Lil Jon’s Outta Your Mind is pounding my ear drums right now. And this post is done.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? What do you do for maximum productivity in the mornings? Leave me a comment.
Image linked courtesy of listerart.com.au.