If you've read my other posts on organizing your work flow, you already know how to move through the 3 steps of getting it organized: Collect, mark Action Items, and Prioritize. Now, here are the 5 key things to think about while you are moving through those steps:
Know when you are the smartest
People only have so much mental energy, so wasting it on things that don't require that much brain power is a poor choice. Know when your mental focus is sharpest, and do your toughest thinking work then. I feel smartest in the mid-morning, around 9 to 11 am. That's when I write proposals to clients, write blog posts, and the like. Don’t waste your top smartness time watching cat videos! Do that when you are burned out from work, like the rest of us 😁
Plan your morning - and even your day - the night before
Make your to-do list and design your morning routine the night before. This cuts down on the amount of analytical thinking you'll need to do first thing in the morning, which frees you up to think more abstractly and creatively when you need to. See above re: wasting your mental energy on the less-important.
Reduce Your Morning Choices
Similarly, don’t waste your precious morning mental energy choosing between options for clothes or cereal. It may seem dull to narrow down your choices, but it’s much smarter to spend your mental energy on activities in the day ahead that are more important - brainstorming, writing, or problem-solving. It is said that President Obama wears only grey or blue suits because, “I have too many other decisions to make.”
Be intentional about your choices
The best-selling book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan titled The One Thing asks, “What is the ONE thing that I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” This should be a key thought in your mind as you prioritize your action items. Time spent thinking now cuts down the time you spend doing unnecessary or unimportant stuff later.
Get up and move
You already know this, but it bears repeating: regular exercise is key. Benefits include reduced stress; reduced depression and anxiety; improved self-confidence; increased cognitive ability; a better memory; and increased creativity, energy, and productivity. I swim laps twice a week - come join me!