“I got the keys keys keys…” is pretty much the catchiest hook of Summer ‘16 and I blast it many mornings these days! I mean, aside from DJ Khaled being this social media motivational maven, his music even finds a way to get you pumped (check out his snapchat if you ever want a positive boost in your day-- thank me later!) The best way to predict how your day will unfold is partly contingent on how you start. Set the tone for your day with whatever will give you a positive mood: upbeat music, reading positive affirmations, prayer, morning coffee, yoga, etc. Once you’ve got that down, then you’re ready to tackle your day of productivity. Sometimes though, we get off track on how to maximize our time. Here are some personal tips on how to take control of your day.
1. Create Your Schedule
To start, you should literally take a few minutes to write out your game-plan. After this step is completed, set your schedule. As working adults, we don’t always have the free time we want to get EVERYTHING done. I mean, I am that person who uses my lunch hour to go to Target, the gas station, buy lunch, and run in Hobby Lobby just to see what’s on sale. Sometimes that is too much and knocks me off focus for a little while, but I feel accomplished. During my work day though, I have practiced the new (for me) habit of creating my daily schedule. I have to write out hour by hour what I will be doing to keep track of my tasks. Writing out my schedule also gives me a great visual so I know how to prioritize.
2. Midday Check Point
So you’ve got your day mapped out. Great! You’ve been at it for a few hours and then you find yourself checking your social media notifications-- STOP! Do a midday check in to your planner see if you’ve stayed on track. It’s easy to get distracted and I would argue it’s healthy to take your eyes off the work for a bit but don’t stay gone too long.
3. Power Hour
This is the coolest. Consider your power hour to be a 60minute boot camp of the mind. Leave an hour to make calls, send and respond to professional emails, brainstorm for your next big work project. Do not answer your friend’s text about drinks later. Do not go on a liking spree on Instagram. Do not start walking around. Just sit still and get in a zone. I would suggest doing this without the distraction of any kind. This hour is meant to give you nothing but focus. After practice of the power hour, you may find your ability to pack more into your day will increase and so maximize both the quality and quantity of your work.
4. Follow Up with Your People
Great relationships are built on communication and trust. A sure fire way to maintain a good rapport with a client or your boss would be follow up. Many people find they are overwhelmed with a million things to do and forget to call their client to check on their needs even after they have finished business with you previously. For example, my best working relationships are currently with my clients who I send texts just saying “Hey, happy Friday! Hope all is well.” Those clients feel that I care so they usually come back to me for more business later. The icing on the cake is when your clients feel so well cared for that they refer more prospects your way! Being present and consistent with communication can definitely pay off without you even having to “work” for it-- let your talking work for you!
5. Make 5 New Connects
Sales. Calls. Suck. BUT-- sales calls pay off; even if that’s not your field. Everyone in business essentially has to sell themselves or their product in some capacity. A saying in the sales world is you haven’t got a lead until you’ve made six connects. That means you’ve gotten in touch with that said prospect and “spoken” with them at least six different times. By then, they are likely committed to working with you. This expands your network and will hopefully provide you with more work thus building toward your professional success. Again, keep up with them as follow-up is key with new clients too!
Finally, Own Your Day
Jay Z could be considered one of the most successful people out who took control of his own path as he expresses in his lyrics in that song I mentioned earlier…
“ (They) always asking me the key
'Til you own your own you can't be free
'Til you're on your own you can't be me
I ain't been asleep since '96
I ain't seen the back of my eyelids”
The work isn’t easy, but it isn’t impossible! Taking control of your day with the tips aforementioned should render long term success. The best way of having the future you want, is owning the now. You’ve got this!
Set your schedule
Do midday check ins with your to-do list/planner
Power hour- taking one hour to do uninterrupted work.
Follow up with all clients
Make 5 new connects
Own your success.
That’s the daily recipe for work-related success. So go have yourself an amazingly productive week, folks-- Cheers!