For as long as I can remember my working day started the same way. Sat at my desk, I would look through a to-do list and number some of the jobs to do today. Then I would open my email software and answer emails from customers, suppliers and so on. Next, I would check our company bank accounts and update our cash flow and financial figures.
Finally, I would start on the jobs on my to-do list. I imagine that your working day starts in much the same way. It was reactive and allowed others to dictate what was important to do.
I began to think that maybe this wasn’t the best approach. My thinking was that the first hour is my most productive at work. I’m very alert; there are no phone calls, it’s quiet, I’m focused, awake and energised. So capable of doing my highest quality work.
The reality was that I was spending that “Golden Hour” doing low-value work. Work that didn’t take much energy, work that although necessary I could do with my eyes closed. Work that didn’t push the business or me forward. Work that was the business equivalent of swimming treading water.
Are you guilty of wasting this golden hour too? Are you spending the most important first hour at work on mundane, routine, repetitive tasks?
To achieve your goals, you must spend your time working towards them, not treading water! In my previous pattern, I would identify what needs doing to achieve my goals and then add it to the bottom of my long to-do list.
Then maybe I would get to work on it in the afternoon. By which time I’m tired, unfocused, distracted and already thinking about going home. Hardly the time to be doing the high-quality work that my primary goal deserves.
Crazy isn’t it? I spent all that time thinking through my goal, planning, identifying what needs to be done and then I have started working on it right at the end of the day. I have let loads of other things be more important and take my time and energy.
So, what’s the answer. Well, I have made two changes to my schedule. Firstly, I now plan my day the night before. In bed, I prepare a list of what I’m going to do in what order tomorrow. That way I don’t waste vital morning energy on it. Next, and most importantly, I have swopped my day around, and the results have been amazing.
For example, my most important task to deliver my goals is to write this blog. So, I sit down at my desk first thing and write it. I don’t open my emails; I don’t do anything else, I won’t even answer the phone (it’s on silent) until I have written the blog post. This habit has been life-changing.
Starting your day working on your most important goal is powerful and liberating. Spending this “Golden Hour” on the task you have identified as the most important thing to help you reach your goals will change your life.
Doing this, has made me calmer and more relaxed for the rest of the day. My team have commented on the difference too.
Whatever happens for the rest of the day, whatever the distractions I know that I have taken a 1-hour step towards my goal. I hope with all my heart that you give this a try. I’m on day 33 and have never felt so alive, so positive and above all on track to achieve the things I have dreamed of.
Your future and your dreams are in your hands. People don’t become successful by accident. Do it first and do it in your Golden Hour. Long before others believe, you must believe it’s possible. Remember, we climb the mountain, not in giant leaps but one small step at a time.