You do not need to be a morning person to be a good leader.
There are plenty of people who don’t rise before the sun, and yet manage to build empires. What they do have in common, however, is diligence.
Creating a work regimen is simply about habits. These are the small acts you perform throughout your day that help give you structure. This structure is what helps push us through the trying or mundane days (we all have them) and pushes us toward success when we lack the extra drive ourselves.
In short, crafting a work regimen will make you a more productive leader.
“But Dave, I have no idea where to start…”
I can’t create the perfect work regimen for you because successful habits are deeply personal. But I can offer up four important steps to creating one.
The Work Regimen – Here are four steps to put this approach into practice:
- Step 1: Always look ahead.
Assess your schedule and to-do list at the beginning of each day. End each day by looking forward to the next. This should take 10 minutes tops. Surprises upset most of us — this is a sure way to head off the unexpected.
Identify the one task or project you want to complete most every day and block off your most productive time for this task. This ensures you will end most days feeling productive.
- Step 2: Write things down.
Whether you prefer a digital app to organize your to-dos and personal notes or you are more of a pen and paper kind of person — I promise you that writing things down will only make you more productive and accountable.
Don’t be afraid to be creative with it! A simple checklist may be the perfect option for you. Or you may find that a concept map is more effective. The point is that we don’t always know what’s best for us, and so it is important to try different things until we find our optimal solution.
- Step Three: Make it work for you.
You can’t just adopt someone else’s regimen lock, stock, and barrel. Just because a habit works for a colleague or mentor doesn’t mean it will work for you.
By all means, take suggestions from these people in your life. And try them out — but without expectation. Point is, we are all different. Make sure your work regimen is yours.
- Step Four: Give it time. By definition, a habit is a behavior practiced over time. Your ritual will take time to establish. Be kind to yourself, and don’t get discouraged by slip-ups.
Remember, it is important not to try to overhaul your life all in one day. Like any other healthy change, it takes time in order to stick! But once you settle into your work regimen, you will find that it is much easier to handle menial tasks on autopilot, attack important tasks with focus and solve problems with creativity.