In business, as well as in life, you always hear about how important it is to maintain a positive attitude. To think good thoughts. To visualize what you want to achieve. All good advice.
But there needs to be a balance. And to do that, you need to look at the negative side as well.
As you walk in the door of your business every morning, ask yourself:
- What am I doing today?
- What’s working well?
- What’s not working well?
As you think about those questions, say hello to everyone you meet on the way to your desk. Ask how they are. Ask what’s new or what’s happening. Get any necessary updates.
Then sit down for a few minutes at your desk and ask yourself:
- What am I going to accomplish today?
Break it down. Make a list. Prioritize.
Have, for example, four lists:
1) What to do: this morning
2) What to do: this afternoon
3) Follow up
4) New activities
If you don’t plan for the day, you won’t accomplish what you need to accomplish.
You may even want to have a fifth list each day of more things you would like to do if the opportunity presents itself.
The key word here is: opportunity.
Think about how you can efficiently and effectively get the work done. Yet always remembering there must be a balance to everything. There will be changes to your plans and there will be emergencies that happen in your business day.
The next thing to say to yourself as you look over your daily plan is: “I am accountable to myself, to my co-workers, to our customers and to the company. Today I will make sure I am in an absolute position of knowing what I am doing – how to make it happen – when it will happen. I will have a successful day”. Make it your daily manta.
At the end of the business day, take a few minutes at your desk and look over your list. Think about:
1) What didn’t get done
2) What you are proud of
3) What you are excited about
4) What you would have changed or improved upon
Every day in business is a new opportunity for possibilities of great accomplishment.
Take advantage of the opportunities.
Know what you want in order to be successful. Maximize every minute. Every hour.
When managing or working with others, encourage that they too make lists similar to yours.
By doing so, you are not just doing things to do them. Rather you are doing things with a goal in mind to be successful.
After a long, successful work day, most business people look forward to having a great dinner. When preparing your dinner, you wouldn’t serve dessert first, would you? (Though it may be a tempting idea!)
It’s no different in business.
Think about what you are doing. Think about what you are not doing. Think about what needs to get done.
Be mindful of the opportunities for success. Then make it happen.