U.S. News published a great piece last week called “12 Things Killer Employees Do Before Noon,” that outlines how you can maximize your energy, engagement and personal effectiveness at work:
Here are a few that especially resonated:
1. They make a work to-do list the day before. Many swear by having a written to-do list, but not everyone agrees on when you need to compose it. According to Andrew Jensen, a business efficiency consultant with Sozo Firm in Shrewsbury, Pa., the opportune time to plan a day’s tasks is the night before.
4. They exercise. Schedule your Pilates class for the a.m. instead of after work. “Exercise improves mood and energy levels,” Jensen says. Not only that, but “there have been studies done on employees who’ve exercised before work or during the work day. Those employees have been found to have better time-management skills, and an improved mental sharpness
9. They tackle the big projects first. You can dive right into work upon arriving in the office, since you made your to-do list the night before.
This list is an excellent starting point for honing personal effectiveness and time management skills. The first few hours of the workday set the tone for how productive and engaged you will be, and if you start out on the right foot, it will be easier to keep that momentum going throughout the day.
Here are a few items we would add to our version of this list:
1. Make your to-do lists manageable.
Writing a work to-do list the night before is a good idea for personal effectiveness, but you should also think carefully about what you put on your list. Do you have a tendency to write 12 tasks that each take an hour when you only have an 8-hour workday? Could your time management skills be improved in any areas? Be realistic about your working hours and write down your top priorities for the day.
2. Get up and walk around once every hour.
Regular exercise before or after work is important for your health, but it is also essential that you get up and move during your workday. Sitting at a desk all day can lead to increased health risks, such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer or premature death, but you can minimize these risks with short breaks for standing and walking. Get up to refill your water bottle, take a phone call standing at your desk or walk around the block at lunchtime; your body will thank you.
3. Make time for big-picture thinking.
Your daily schedule is probably full with meetings, tasks and deadlines, but when was the last time you set aside time for long-term planning or goal-setting for the future? This step often gets lost in the shuffle, but it is important for organizational growth. Allot a short period of time every day to revisit your goals and track your progress.
What do you do every morning to improve your personal effectiveness?
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