Each week at least one of our coaching clients will talk about how challenging it is to get anything substantial done during the course of a day. Meetings, email and crises drive any hope of real productivity out of their day and they are left feeling defeated and resentful.
One simple but effective way to move the needle is to focus on what is most important first. In other words, we encourage our clients to spend the first 90 minutes of their day working on their most important project or effort. No email, no meetings, no interruptions – just 90 minutes to tackle the most important issue on their plate. When clients start their day this way they report that they actually start to feel better about their work life and more importantly, they are accomplishing the things that matter most.
There are different ways to carve out time: some clients block out the first 90 minutes of their day from 8-9:30, other clients work at home and go in later so that they can minimize the interruption part. Still other clients say that they get into the office, make the perfunctory rounds, then hole-up for a full 90 minute work session from 9-10:30 to “actually get stuff done.”
Regardless of the timing, in each case they block themselves out as “busy” on their calendars. Most of them have found that their staff and co-workers are getting used to the “getting stuff done” time and are starting to implement it themselves.
This approach may seem like just common sense but it actually has been proven highly effective by researchers. Researchers have found that if you tackle the most important project the first part of the day you are more creative, more satisfied and more energized not only while you are working on the project but also throughout the day.
So, this week we encourage you to find at least one day that you block out 90 minutes to focus on that one thing that will move the needle and allow you to feel more satisfied with your work outcomes.