Tim Ferriss’ book, Tribe of Mentors, got me to thinking about how successful people get their day going with morning rituals. In his book, he interviews all types of successful people and asks each of them questions regarding their life. One of these questions is, How do you start your morning?
A few years ago I created a morning ritual for myself that has increased my productivity dramatically. When I make it a habit to follow-through on my morning ritual, the results at the end of the day are radically different than if I do not; regardless if it’s a workday or I’m on vacation.
As powerful as a morning ritual can be; another key to a productive day lies in what I call, my workday start-up routine. I believe the power of a consistent start to my workday handles so many issues that would eventually come back and haunt me had I not utilized this automation process.
Why is self-automation the key to success?
Like all rituals I utilize in my day, the Workday Start-up is an excellent way to take advantage of self-automation. Self-automation involves implementing routines, rituals, and habits to make it easier and more efficient to follow through on top priorities.
There are 3 benefits of my Workday Start-up
First, it frees up my creativity by applying it to handling a specific problem. In other words, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel every workday, I just get it done.
Second, this routine helps to speed up my work. By always knowing what comes next I don’t have to spend time thinking about it. 1, 2, 3 all flow in order until I complete my Start-up.
Third, a proper routine cleans up my mistakes before they happen. When structured properly, I can anticipate what needs to be done and at least minimize any errors that I may make before my first block of in-depth work.
Here’s my Workday Start-up routine….
What’s an inbox? It’s anywhere that I receive information that needs to be processed. Digitally, my inbox locations are each of my e-mail addresses (I have 4 of these to date.), as well as my task manager, Nozbe. I also have a physical inbox where I place my mail and other documents that come my way.
The key to each of these inboxes is to take them down to zero every morning and not look at them again until the next ritual, my Workday shutdown. What in the world does “Inbox to zero” really mean?
For years David Allen has said the master key for managing email is the hardest habit for many to change – working from a regularly empty inbox. It takes less psychic effort to operate from a zero base than to leave anything sitting in the inbox. That doesn’t mean that the inbox email is kept to zero – just that it gets there on some regular basis. (At least once per week.) – Kelly Forrister
To see a system of how to get your inbox to zero, CLICK HERE FOR THE DOWNLOAD
Regarding my physical inbox, I use a Three-Tiered System. I keep a stacked set of drawers in my office, labeled “IN,” “Pending” and “Out.”
- IN, contains those items still to be looked at.
- Pending, includes those items which have been viewed at but cannot be dealt with immediately.
- Out, consists of those items which have been dealt with and are now ready for distribution to other people, or to file by scanning them into Evernote with an appropriate tag.
Review Today’s Calendar
Once I’ve taken my inbox to zero, then I review the upcoming day’s calendar to see what meetings and appointments are required of my time and what’s left in the day where I can handle top priorities.
Review My Goals
Next, I always review my annual goals. I have these written in my physical planner as well as on my Evernote program where I create a shortcut to review my goals quickly.
Finalize Today’s Big 3
I wrap up my Workday Start-up by deciding today’s Big 3 tasks. I just ask myself, “What’re the 3 most important things I can do to take steps forward in achieving my goals adequately. It’s vital that I get clear on the three tasks that’ll move me toward my goals and make today a win, no matter what else happens.
Take a deeper dive into the Workday Start-up process…
How do you start your workday? I’d like to know if you have set up an automated plan for success that can let you focus on what’s most important. If so, please feel free to comment below.