The way you start your day can set you on a successful path for the rest of your 24 hours. Everywhere you look, another article is popping up about how various business leaders and success gurus start their day. But what day-starting habits are most important for copywriters? Well, read on…
Today’s question comes from Shira L., who asks, “I’m really into the idea of making my days as productive as possible. What do you recommend for what I should do to start my days that will get me off on the right foot?”
A lot of productivity articles will tell you that you should start your day by drinking a large glass of water, meditating, and making your bed. I don’t disagree with those, but they take up valuable space on a list. So, if you can, drink water, meditate, and make your bed. Great.
But when it comes to setting up your day specifically for copywriting success, I have five steps that are key. Here they are:
1. Read some of a business or self-improvement book. I know: You’re thinking to yourself, “She said these were key. How key is reading a book?” But starting your day with just a few pages from a non-fiction book that can either directly or indirectly benefit your business gets you in the right mindset automatically.
Instead of forcing yourself to focus and start thinking about business, you can gently guide yourself into it (and learn a thing or two along the way). A few recent favorites have been The Willpower Instinct by Kelly McGonigal, Mini Habits by Stephen Guise, and The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday. I haven’t ready SuperBetter by Jane McGonigal yet, but I’ve heard good things.
2. Review statuses and deadlines. When you’re ready to get down to business, this is the place to start. First, look at all of the projects you currently have on your docket. Next, remind yourself of all of the current statuses of these projects. Do you have work due? Do you need to follow up with a client? Where does all of this work stand?
And then, too, review your deadlines. You need to be sure you’re aware of when each project is due to be sent to the client and reviewing your deadlines each day helps keep you from accidentally overlooking one.
3. Review outstanding invoices. It’s very easy to forget about invoices once you’ve sent them (and, actually, before you send them, too…), so this is your chance to familiarize yourself with where each one stands. Do you need to send any out? Have any been with the client for an excessive amount of time?
If you need to send any or follow up with your client, add those tasks to your To Do list.
4. Prioritize your work. Now that you have a good handle on what needs to be done and when it needs to be done, it’s time to list it out. Put your highest priority items at the top, but also consider grouping a few small five-minute tasks together on the list. Once you’ve finished a big task, knocking out a few easy, small tasks can help keep your momentum going and make you feel like you’re accomplishing a lot.
5. Figure out the one big thing you MUST accomplish. Now that you have your list, what’s the one task that will make the greatest impact on your day and on your business? Do you HAVE to finish a project today to meet a deadline? Or is it CRUCIAL that you send out prospecting letters?
This one big thing might be at the top of your list already…or you might have buried it somewhere near the middle because you’re not looking forward to doing it. If it’s truly your most important task, move it right up to the top of your list. Both energy and willpower are finite elements, and you need to make sure you use them to make real progress, not fritter them away on little errands.
From here, you’re set to start your day. Attack your To Do list, schedule time for breaks (away from the computer or TV!) and make sure you’re fueling yourself with whole, healthy food. Each day is an opportunity to move yourself forward, so make the most of it!
Your turn! Do you have any morning habits that help you be productive? Let us know in the comments below!