One minute is all it might take to make your day a lot more productive. Here are some ways:
- Take a minute to choose EXCELLENCE.
Before you start any project–even if it’s a simple task–ask yourself this question: “What can I do to make this excellent ?”
That might sound cheesy, but it’s the perfect question to ask dozens of times each day. If you start out with the intention of doing every project with excellence, you will.
- Take a minute to summarize meaningful interactions. You talk. You share. You agree on plans. There’s an outcome. Something happened– but all too often you move on to the next e-mail, phone call, or task and forget what you just covered. Don’t. Take a minute to jot down notes. The habit of summarizing creates a self-reinforcing loop: when you need to take notes later, you’ll listen a lot more closely now.
- Take a minute to prepare before every meeting. Surely you’ve walked into a meeting where the first time you really thought about that meeting was when you actually sat down. Take a minute to think about who will attend. Consider their agendas, their perspectives, what they are likely to say and do, and create a plan for how you will make the biggest impact. (Don’t forget to make it excellent!)
- Immediately capture good ideas. If you’re like most professionals, good ideas can strike at any time; that’s why you need to have a way of capturing them. As soon as you have a great idea, take a minute to write it down. Carry a small notebook or use a Notes app on your phone.
- End every day by scheduling tomorrow. Don’t show up in the morning with a blank slate; instead, take 10 minutes before you quit each day to decide on the project or task you’re going to complete first thing in the morning. Doing this will avoid wasting time “warming up” and getting sucked into your e-mail.
That way you won’t get distracted by other stuff, and you’ll set the stage for a great day by accomplishing something important first thing.
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