Words by AOL Guest Contributor Madeleine Walker from The Twenties Club
Whether you’re self-employed or part of a multi-national, an account manager or a stylist, a lawyer or a journalist, it’s not unfair to say that sticking to a formulaic schedule during the work-week is optimistic at best.
We’re all so damn busy. And, ironically, the first thing that usually suffers when we’re under pressure is our ability to structure, organise, plan and execute tasks efficiently. For this reason, I believe that the way we start our day is crucial: the attitude and specificity through which we begin our mornings will be the difference between a productive, happy Monday and a lunch-at-3pm-in-front-of-a-computer-screen kind of day.
There’s a series I read on The Cut regularly called ‘How I Get It Done’ which outlines the daily routines of some of America’s most successful, busy and well-known women. From Sex & The City’s Cynthia Nixon, to women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem and Elle Magazine editor-in-chief, Nina Garcia, the series often makes me reflect on the way I get things done. Am I being as productive as possible? Where am I lagging? Like all of us, I’m a work-in-progress, but there is one rule I abide by, day in and day out, that I believe makes a difference.
When I land at my desk, before checking emails or Twitter, before the New York Times or Instagram, I flip to a fresh page in my notebook and write down my three MITs. What are MITs, I hear you ask? These are your most important tasks. There has to be three, and you have to complete all of them before you do anything else. MITs can range from replying to an email that’s been staring at you for weeks, to drafting a proposal or booking a lunch meeting. Don’t waste time stressing over what your MITs should be (yes I see you pulling up to procrastination station); usually the first three tasks to pop into your mind are ones that need taking care of sooner rather than later.
If you’re a creative type, rules like this can be intimidating – we like to be free, and even the act of writing a list can feel too limiting. But creatives also have trouble with productivity, so establishing parameters around the manner in which you get sh*t done can be extremely rewarding. By defining three important tasks and following them through to completion you’ll feel satisfaction in knowing that if you achieve nothing else for the rest of the day (no judgement), at least getting out of your warm bed this morning wasn’t for nothing.
Why not try it?