The Most Important Thing You Need To Do In The Morning

J.R. Heimbigner

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

“The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” — Stephen Covey

When I walk into the office in the morning there are a few things that happen. I pick up my mail from the day before and boot up my computer. An email pops up, my main work applications come up, and my phone starts up. Immediately I am inundated with inbound requests, demands, and “needs.” It is easy to let all these other things people send me prioritize my day.

Whether you are a morning person or not, we all have to start our day at work and have to processes through all the things coming into our inboxes. A few months ago, this would be the beginning of my overwhelming days at work. I would start processing through all this new information and all of a sudden it was halfway through my day.

By then, I would still have a full day's worth of work to do, and only half a day to do it. This would lead to me working an extra hour at work, and then one to three hours at home after my daughters went to bed. After working extra, I would have an hour with my wife and then go to bed. Only to do it all over again.

Choosing My Priorities

After I woke up one Saturday morning at 3 am in a panic from dreams of work and the dread of going back into my office on Monday, I did some research to try and find ways to alleviate my stress and create more margin. One thing I was finding consistently was this one principle:

Prioritize Your Day First Thing in the Morning.

What I found out was all of the most successful people in the world start their day by choosing their priorities over those coming from other people. It’s great to say this out loud, but when we begin to think about how this practically works there are a few options.

How I Prioritize for the Day

Now, when I get into work, I still start up my computer and get my mail. All my applications start running. And once I am all ready to go, I start with these five steps:

  1. Set My Top Four to Five Tasks for the Day
  2. Set My Morning Routine
  3. Decide What Needs to Be Done First
  4. Set Expectations for Motivation and Inspiration
  5. Confirm Any Meetings/Appointments Scheduled

I keep track of these with my “Priorities Sheet,” which hangs in my cubicle right by my computer. I use this every day. It is in a place where I see it all day long. This way, I cannot get sidetracked by the priorities of other people.

Start the Day and Win

Once I have all of these set in my cubicle, I start work. My morning routine typically gets completed first, these are all the quick inbound tasks I need to process through. Then I do the things that need to be done first. And then I start doing the tasks on my top tasks list for the day.

In the end, if I don’t make it through everything at work, but I complete everything on my Priorities Sheet, I can walk away knowing I did the most important work. Typically anything that is left is quick tasks I just didn’t get to or things I can do at any time.

I have noticed, however, when I finish everything on my Priorities Sheet, I complete all the other tasks coming my way as well. Here is the important thing, this can work for you. There is nothing more encouraging and satisfying than completing everything on that sheet.

Start using this productivity tip today and see how much it changes your life!

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My goal with my writing is to help people get everything done they want in their very busy lives. I believe we can we all can achieve our dreams and I know it starts with having the right mindset, systems, and taking action every single day. My writing shares how to do this through self-improvement, inspiration, and productivity.

Spokane, WA

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