How do you start your workshifting day?
I’ve been asked a lot of questions over the years about working from home, being my own boss, finding the time or the discipline to do everything, and so forth. But it took 18 miles one summer morning before someone in my old run group asked me what I do first.
People seem to envy workshifters because we get to set our hours and select our work settings. But what often gets lost is that we, too, have to have a routine. Otherwise, how would we ever get anything done?
Here are four tips to jumpstart your workshifting day:
- Get Distractions Out of the Way. Just as you need to warm up before a workout, you need to warm your brain before diving into the substantive stuff. While office denizens typically start off with coffee and collegial conversation, you should do much the same. If you’re a café dweller, for example, you probably chat with other regulars. If you’re a Facebook fanatic, spend a few minutes catching up with friends. I start my day with the online crossword and a little Twitter conversation.
- Clear Your Inbox. Unless you are superhuman, chances are you have to peek at what’s piled into your inbox while you were slumbering. That’s okay. Go ahead. I skim my subscriptions folder just to make sure there isn’t a header that looks too sexy to ignore. But mostly I look through my inbox to triage what’s top priority (must act), routine (can be answered later), just for reference (move to another folder right away), or delete-able (done).
- Tackle the toughest task first. It is tempting to put off the hard work, but that’s a slippery slope to spending your day surfing the Web, rearranging files, reading blog posts, or whatever else it is you’d rather be doing. The key to a solid routine is to discipline yourself to get done what has to be done. When I don’t have an early meeting, client work and business development get prioritized.
- Eat Breakfast. I’ve had to learn this the hard way. Breakfast matters, and not just because I’m eventually going to bonk and get cranky otherwise. Putting off meals has the unintended consequence of disrupting your work flow because you suddenly have to eat something mid-morning when you should be chugging away on those tough tasks. Ideally, eat breakfast while you’re warming up or clearing out your inbox.
What would you add? How do you jumpstart your work day?
Photo Credit: madmolecule