Like a professional basketball player performs a ritual before a big moment—say, bouncing the ball exactly six times before taking a free throw—such routines can boost your own productivity by minimizing the variables that distract you.
Instead of winging it, make up your own rituals for:
Mornings: Rise at the same time every day, and allocate time for each step that follows—from breakfast to brushing your teeth. It helps ensure you don’t skip anything and that you get to work on time.
Weekly tasks: For example, tackle filing on Thursdays, weekly planning on Fridays. Knock out “maintenance tasks” regularly to keep your overarching goals from stacking up.
E-mail: Set up your inbox so that high-priority mail is most visible, then handle it first, every time. Touch each message once—act on it, forward it, file it or trash it.
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