How do effective people structure their day?

Have you ever wondered what makes some people successful whilst some people go around in perpetual circles?  It has come to light that the people who get things done and are achievers structure their day and time in different ways to the majority of people.  So how do they think and act that means they can outperform their competitors?

Not checking emails first thing is one golden rule; this allows you to set the task of achieving at least one thing before you check your emails.  Light exercise and motivational incantations are the recommendations of self help guru Tony Robbins, he believes that the exercise invigorates the mind and body and the incantations form a positive mindset for the day ahead.  Robbins also advocates spending 10 minutes thinking of everything you are grateful for and visualising everything you want in your life as if you had it today.  This gives people a focus a reason to be successful.

The founder of Craigslist, Craig Newmark, cited customer service as the activity that keeps him grounded and in touch with his clients which is a critical part of growing a successful enterprise.  The paradox of the more a business grows the further removed the founders are from their clients is not something that should be allowed to come into being, as it can soon undo all the hard work thus being a victim of their own success.

Another practice of effective workers is arranging your office space to match your working style.  Why make life difficult for yourself? Having things ergonomically placed can shave lots of time off your working day.

Create a ‘to do’ list to get your mind and day organised into a structure and set goals of what you want to have achieved by the end of the day, this gives a greater sense of accomplishment when you cross off each thing and will make you more productive

Screen calls so that you only have to take time out dealing with essential issues and then put time aside later to ring back less urgent callers

Take regular screen breaks, structure the day so that you are not in front of the computer constantly, as this will make you tired and lessen your productivity

Where possible talk to people in person, this is far more productive and quicker than back and forth emails and leaves less room for misunderstanding and interpretation

If you are in an open plan environment use headphones so that you are not disturbed and can block out excessive noise

And of course not forgetting the option of hiring a Virtual PA!