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“The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You
I so often find myself doing the exact opposite. Eh, I have nothing to do tomorrow, so I’ll just put it off until then. Or the next day. OR THE NEXT DAY.
Here are some of the steps I’ve been taking to do my best today:
- Never let a piece of paper touch your desk more than once. Sure, shuffling paper around can make you look busy, but I’ve been learning (the hard way) that being busy does not always = being productive. Touch it once, get it done, move on!
- Tackle the large (or unappealing) projects first. I admit, I’m still working on this one. It’s so easy to open up my email and go for the easy responses first. Or to push the difficult projects to the afternoon. But you know what? That never works! Everybody’s productivity peaks at different times, my peak is solidly in the morning. It could even look like listing out the steps needed to get the project done in the morning, and tackling the hardest steps first, leaving a few easy ones to look forward to in the afternoon.
- Look forward to your day. Again, not perfectly in practice over here. But I find that when I look forward to something as simple as the coffee I’ll be drinking in the morning, I find that the morning ends up being much better. Late afternoon tends to be even harder for me, so maybe I treat myself to some chocolate, or take a walk outside, or plan out the day’s exercise routine.
- Take breaks, take breaks, take breaks! Schedule them, set an alarm. Get up and move at least once an hour. Everybody says it, but seriously, this is legit. Also: the moment you find your mind wandering, get up and move!
- Enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. I am a feeler, big time. This has been my only saving grace in exercise: when I think about how good I’ll feel afterwards, it makes me want to do it more. The same applies in life, work, etc. This may not be very specific, and perhaps a bit woo-woo, but it works. I know I’ll feel better when I accomplish the major item looming over me, and on the flip-side, I’ll feel worse and worse the longer I stretch it out. Never underestimate the power of feeling.