“I’m going to do this thing I need to do… but first I’m just going to tile the bathroom, do the laundry, trim my toenails, tidy my desk, make a cup of tea, and answer this email.”
The struggle is real, my friend.
This is how my days go if I’m not extremely careful…
Over the past year or so, I’ve built up a habit of going for a “run” in the morning. First thing, before I do anything else. (I say “run” because what I mean is a stagger around the village in the fresh air and a conversation with the local moos.)
I used to try and go for a run at lunchtime, but it rarely happened because there would always be other things to do. Like sitting.
I realised that if I wanted to start my day with a little action, I had to remove all the friction – I had to make it as easy as possible to get this little win and start the day successfully.
I had to use as little willpower as possible at the start so I had plenty left for the important stuff.
My method was simple: lay out my running clothes on the bedroom chair the night before, fall into them before I realised what was happening, walk downstairs and into my shoes, and get right out the door before I get distracted.
It works, too. The only times I haven’t been for a “run” over the past year or so, Monday to Friday mornings, are when I’ve been on holiday or when I’ve been away at an event.
I do a friction-reduction exercise when it comes to writing my book, too (or any other project I’m working on).
As soon as I get back from my morning “run” and before I get into the shower, I switch my laptop on and open Scrivener (the software I use to write).
The night before, when I close up my office, I lay out the tools I’ll need: notebook, pen, any books or paper research I’ll need, etc. That way I’m not faffing around looking for things or opening computer programs – a recipe for distraction.
Then I have my shower, eat a bagel, and bring a cup of tea to my desk – and I’m working. Straight in, no fuss.
I never, ever look at my emails first thing in the morning: it’s a sure-fire way to derail your day and make sure you’re working to someone else’s plans rather than your own. I look at emails just before lunch.
I never, ever look at social media first thing in the morning: it’s a sure-fire way to increase anxiety and make yourself feel inadequate.
How can you remove friction so you get more done in less time?
Send me an email and tell me your secret productivity habits – I’m always on the lookout for new ways to stop faffing.
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About the Author
Please do share any articles from this site in part or in full — as long as you leave all links intact, give credit to the author, and include a link to this website and the following bio. Vicky is a gin-quaffing, pole-dancing, trapeze-swinging copywriter who writes about the perils and joys of writing, velociraptor training, and running a small business. She writes this stuff on her websites vickyfraser.com and cookiesforbreakfast.co.uk. She’s the author of one book (with two more in utero) and teaches small business owners how to write copy that sells, and how to be more fecking interesting. You can follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn.