Don't Let Your Inbox Run Your Life

It never seems to stop. Constant emails, meetings, calls, and distractions. All. Day. Long. I never get to my actual work. Never get to my highest leverage tasks. How do I change this?

Don't Let Your Inbox Run Your Life

I've been at this all day.

Email after email popping into my inbox asking for something. Seems like all I've done is respond to emails  and handle mini-emergencies. Its almost time to quit but I haven't even started the one task I had to complete today. Better let my wife know I will be working late once again. Working late is happening more often. Its eating into time with my family. How do I change?

If this sounds familiar, you need to look at how you start and stop your workday. I felt like this for a long time until I implemented two practices into my daily routine around work: the Work Day Startup & Shutdown routines.

These routines are the opening scene and the end credits of your work day episode. At the start, you set the stage for the rest of your day to be successful. At the end, you recap what happened throughout the day, who you saw, and anticipate the next episode.

Lets dig into each routine:

Work Day Startup: The goal is to be intentional with your time. Start by identifying what success is for the day and make time to complete key tasks. Don't allow distractions or other people's priorities to steal your day. The goal is to have your key priorities scheduled before the craziness comes of the day hits.

Work Day Shutdown: End by reviewing your key tasks for the day. If completed, it was a good day! If not, make sure they are your top priority tomorrow. Also, empty your head of any tasks you need to remember for later. You don't need to take these tasks with you.

We all need balance in our lives. Balance to ensure our work does not run every facet of our being. There needs to be time to shutdown and be present with friends and family. Time to be fully engaged in the work we do and accomplish our highest level tasks. The Work Day Startup & Shutdown routines allow us to prime for both.

When we are intentional with our time, the day is a success.