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Ready. Set. Slow Down.

January 26, 2011

Here’s something you’ve been told 100 times. But it’s worth reading again. Because if you haven’t tried it yet, you’re starting your day all wrong. You may be the type who likes to hit the ground running, go straight from the commute to the first phone call, meeting or e-mail without missing a beat. But as efficient as that may seem, starting your work day without a few minutes of planning is a recipe for a meandering workday.

Ten minutes with a to-do list and a little prioritizing will not just help pace and structure your day, it will give you a benchmark to fall back on when the day distracts you with brushfires, impromptu meetings and unexpected emergencies. This may be the most hackneyed productivity tip of all time (well, after “don’t check your e-mail every five minutes”). Nevertheless, it’s repeated so often because it works so well. Try it for a week and see if it leads you a calmer, more productive workday. Oh, and stop checking you e-mail so often.

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