Let’s begin by banishing “busy” from your vocabulary. Busy is a safe retreat, a default excuse for failing to make the forward progress you seek. From this moment commit to yourself that you will not let “I’m so busy” be your warm security blanket.
Research has shown that we all have natural peaks and valleys in our daily productivity rhythms. Our ability to produce at a consistent level throughout the day is not sustainable.
When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing by Daniel Pink shares fascinating studies that will help rethink and reshape your daily schedule. For example, research shows that you are most effective at analytical tasks early in the day. Later in the day you lose some of your sharp focus. This less disciplined mental state allows your mind to wander in more abstract ways. You are more likely to see the possibilities among unrelated ideas. A free-floating mind is the springboard for aha moments.
Start your daily planning by taking a close look at what you need to accomplish each day. While it is tempting to plow through your inbox or check off mindless tasks first thing, you are sacrificing your most focused attention time. As hard as it is to change this morning habit, it is one worth doing.
So much of what I've read about successful people's daily rituals says they simply block off large chunks of time and stick to their schedule. As company leaders who often wear many hats, this can seem more aspirational than realistic. You don’t always have the luxury of a large team to make everything happen. You have to create a productivity plan that is realistic for where you are now and where you expect to be in the future.