"Not having a clear goal leads to death by a thousand compromises" ~Mark Pincus  

"Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing." ~Albert Schweitzer  

Do you have any idea what the perfect day at work would look like for you? The kind of day where you are productive, energized and positive? It may sound kind of ridiculous given the nature of the workplace these days, but if you don’t have a goal, then you are highly unlikely to make it there. You have more control over your workday than you think, and you might be surprised how simple it is to make a few adjustments that result in a measurable difference.

So in an effort to paint a picture of our goal, here are a few things to consider:

How do you want to start the day: Coffee, inbox, and opening the doors – What are three things you like to do in the morning and what are three you dislike? Do you want to check e-mail right away to feel a rush of getting things done, or is e-mail a drag and you’d rather put it off? Are you one of those people who starts slow and wants to get a coffee and ease into the day or do you schedule meetings to start on your arrival? Start the day with strong positive momentum and it will help carry you through.

The heart of your day: Duties, tasks, meetings and projects – What meetings and tasks do you like? Which do you dislike? Should you rearrange them or restructure them to better match the perfect day? Should you delegate some? Are you prioritizing everything to eliminate the stress of deadlines? Do you have time set aside for the inevitable emergencies?

Finishing up: Goodbyes, clean up, and doing what you forgot about – Are you “setting the table” for success on the next day? Are you reviewing your To-Do list at set points in the day to reduce the flurry of things you need to get done at the end of the day? Are you taking time to debrief with your team and peers?

I will say it again; you have more control over your day than you think you do. The problem is that few of us are interested in managing our day and so we are managed by it. Yes, the perfect day might only last an hour (or less) in the real world, but it’s still far better than the alternative. So work out what your perfect day at work looks like, get detailed with it, once you know what you’re looking for it is simply a matter of managing yourself towards it.

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