If you spend the first hour of your day checking email or catching up with colleagues (after all, it was a great weekend) there’s no shame in that. Everyone needs a little time to ease back into a routine after 2 days off. It’s just the natural thing to do.
I will, however, caution that while you blissfully delete the newsletters you received over the weekend (the ones you never get around to reading), a storm is brewing.
It’s not the kind of storm that will ruin your day. It’s not the sort of mess that has you running in circles until quitting time. It’s just your average, everyday storm of non-prioritized work that will make you feel empty and soulless at the end of the day.
It’s the junk food of productivity. (Think empty tasks, not real progress)
“How did this happen?”, you might ask!
Well, rather than prioritize the day, your day was prioritized for you!
It sneaks up on us all the time. There’s no shame in it. It happens. The key is to prevent it, recognize when it is happening, and recover from it once it has started.
YOU should be the one prioritizing your day!
Before you dismiss this post, I’ll have to admit to being idealistic. Of course, there will always be priorities that impose themselves on you at work. That’s why it’s called work and not a hobby. But every day we have the opportunity to choose to prioritize our day before it gets prioritized for us.
It may take as little as 5 minutes before doing anything else in the morning.
When you get to the office, just sit down, and look ahead. What timeframes need to be blocked off to accomplish the things that matter most? Who needs to be kept in the know to prevent trouble down the line? What problems can you anticipate and work to prevent now, rather than later?
Everyone does this in some form or another, and in their own way. My point is not to sell you on one form of time management or another. Instead, I’m selling you on the idea that the most important thing you can do, is do the things that are most important!
Now go start your day.
Image credit: “Emscherkunst TanzenderStrommast Zauberlehrling 04 Crop” byTuxyso / Wikimedia Commons. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons