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What Successful People Do With the First Hour of Their Work Day

| September 18, 2012

by Jim Bruce

Today’s reading “What Successful People Do With the First Hour of Their Work Day” by Kevin Purdy, a freelance writer, first appeared in FastCompany.  It’s not a new message – you heard it during your IT Leaders Program sessions – but it is presented in new voices.

Purdy points out that many leaders do, and more should, start their days in powerful different ways:

1.  Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour.  Seriously.  Stop That.  His point is most often your focus on email will take you away from doing the important things you need to do to start your day.

2.  Gain Awareness, Be Grateful.  Tony Robins, Mike McGrath, and others have suggested that taking time to think of “everything that you’re grateful for” before you begin to visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”  These two exercises should provide significant focus for your day.

3.  Do the Big, Shoulder-Sagging Stuff First.  Brian Tracy calls this eating your frog.  The phrase comes from a Mark Twain saying that if you eat a live frog first thing in the morning, you’ve got it behind you for the rest of the day and nothing else looks so bad.  So do your most difficult, most important thing first.

4.  To eat your frog, you first have to choose it.  So, every day at the end of your day have a practice of choosing your frog for the next day.  Gina Tripani advises that you write it down on a pice of paper before you leave the office so you’ll see it first thing.  And, put with the piece of paper all of the materials that you will need to do this task.  That will reduce the procrastination you’ll experience in finding those materials.

5.  Regularly ask yourself, as Steve Jobs suggested in his Stanford Commencement Address, whether you are doing what you want to do.  If you’re not, then do something about it.

6.  “Customer Service.”  Every day, find a way to make a connection with your customers.  Craigslist founder Craig Newmark says that contact with customers “anchors me to reality.”

So here are some solid suggestions for starting your day.  Why not select some of these practices try them out beginning tomorrow.


.  .  .  .  .     jim