May 4, 2012

Don't Let Your Phone Dictate Your Day

By Patrick Mahan

In the old days, when people rolled out of bed, the first thing they did was shuffle to the bathroom, wash their face, brush their teeth, and get ready for the day.

But times have changed. These days, it seems the first thing people do each morning is grab their PHONE and check emails, texts, voice messages and of course, Facebook.

Do you do this? Be honest. I've certainly done it more than once.

But my question is this... wouldn't it make more sense to set YOUR course for the day FIRST before reading, reacting and responding to what others are saying, thinking, doing and wanting?

If the first thing you do each morning is check your "inbox", then you are allowing it (the contents waiting inside) to dictate your day, your actions - and often - your mood. You become reactive rather than proactive.

Consider setting your sails (agenda) first thing each morning. Or even better... the night before. Then, set a time to check your inbox(es) later in the morning AFTER you've set your course for the day and AFTER you've accomplished something on your list.

Otherwise, you'll find yourself constantly playing catch-up. And at the END of the day, what will you find? You'll find that you've helped everyone else check items off THEIR To-Do List, but you haven't made a dent in your OWN To-Do List!

So before reaching for that cell phone, decide what you want/need to accomplish today. Sketch out a game plan. And evaluate your progress at the end of each day. This is the only way to know if you're moving forward, backward or standing still.

Other people will knock you off course - if you let them. They have their own agendas, their own wants, needs, stories, comments and concerns. Don't get wrapped up in other people's stuff first thing in the morning. (This includes reading the newspaper, which can really ruin your day!)

Is this selfish? Not at all. It's like the advice they give you on airplanes... "Put on your own oxygen mask first before assisting others." If you put "first things first", set a plan for your day - and cross something off your list first thing each morning - then, you'll find that you have more time and more energy to help not only yourself, but others as well.

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