What’s one thing you can complete today?

In this age of multi-tasking, multi-texting, multi-platforms and constant responding, it can be very difficult to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of a work day.

Each day may require that you attend several meetings, respond to hundreds of emails, juggle many projects.

One way to help yourself get organized is to simply decide on ONE THING that you need to accomplish each day. Pick one thing — it could be a sales pitch you need to finish or an important email that you want to send. It could be a call you’ve been meaning to make, or a design you want to refine.

Focus on and complete one thing — It will help the rest of your day fall into place. And it will satisfy that part of your mind that needs to see results.

Try it. Pick one thing. Complete it. Check it off the list. Then see how you feel.

Morning Routine

What’s your morning routine? Do you fall out of bed after hitting the snooze button a dozen times, jump in the shower, and rush off to work? Or do you take a few moments to wake up, drink tea or coffee, read or write, exercise, and prepare for your day?

I find that my morning routine really matters. If I start out rushed, frazzled, or running behind, so goes the day. If I give myself time to check in and get centered, then my day unfolds in a similar fashion.

In a world where we’re constantly asked to react and respond, where the work day can start any time and end whenever, giving yourself just a little time to wake up and re-enter the world could make a BIG difference.

Try giving yourself time to wake up, check in, and decide what matters today. Your mind and body will thank you later.

Hitting the Pause Button

If you are like most people, the people and devices around you at work require constant interaction. Emails demand a reply. Meetings fill your calendar and require participation. Social media portals buzz, click, tweet and ping – insisting that you respond in kind. It’s easy to spend an entire day reacting and responding, without actually accomplishing anything.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed; if it seems like you never get any traction on the projects that you truly care about, try hitting the pause button. The next time someone insists that you take on a new task, ask for a moment to think about it. If you’re at your desk feeling pulled in ten directions, close all your files (paper and digital) for a minute. Hit the pause button, allow your brain to re-boot and discover its priorities. Pause long enough to evaluate what efforts are worth your time and what can simply wait.

Sometimes, you may discover that you need to say, “no,” to the latest demand for your attention, or “not now.” Sometimes, you may decide to put down whatever you’re doing and address a more pressing issue. Pause, recalibrate, and move forward with your day. Take a few moments to decide what matters most.

Giving Yourself Credit

Ever notice yourself wanting more credit or recognition or appreciation from others for your hard work? Ever resent the people who have no problem patting themselves on the back or bragging about their accomplishments?

Building your own sense of value and confidence at work is an ongoing exercise. This is especially true if you work for someone who is highly demanding or extremely critical. It may also be true if you work for a company that expects everyone to bend over backwards to meet its goals

Today, try giving yourself credit for the things you wish someone else would appreciate. If you finish a report ahead of schedule, pat yourself on the back. If you field numerous customer complaints, acknowledge the skill and patience it took to do that. If you solve a major glitch in a software program, stand up and take a bow.

Taking a moment to savor your successes will increase you enjoyment at work. If you’re too busy to notice what you accomplished during the day, take a moment after work to write down three things you did right.

Yes, it would be better if the people you work for were more appreciative, but don’t let that stop you from taking in the good.

Slowing Down to Get Ahead

A world famous baseball pitcher was recently interviewed after a record-breaking season. Asked to explain how he managed to pitch five shutout games in a row, he said, “I spent a year slowing down so that I could play better.”

He explained that slowing down allowed him to refine his form, build his stamina, and clarify his strategy. He slowed down his workout, he slowed down his practices, and he slowed down his pitches. Slowing down improved his concentration and enhanced his performance. It taught him how to think.

Slowing down to get ahead is anti-intuitive. Faced with a myriad of things on our to-do lists, it’s natural to think that we need to speed up, move faster, make quick decisions.

Today, if you feel overwhelmed by your workload, if your to-do list gives you agita, try slowing down. Focus in on what you’re doing right now. If your mind starts to race, take a few slow deep breaths and see if you can reduce the sense of urgency.

See if slowing down, just a little bit, can help you get ahead.

Do you unhook?

Unhooking is a system for changing your reaction to emotionally upsetting circumstances at work. It could be a difficult coworker, a demanding boss or an impossible client. To unhook, you have to stop waiting for the other person to change, and start taking back your power. The first step in unhooking is physical.

Unhook physically by taking actions to release the negative energy stored in your body from dealing with someone else’s bad behavior. Methods for unhooking physically include washing your face, taking a walk, playing sports, working out, doing yoga or simply breathing slowly and deeply. Try it today. If you feel your head throbbing, your neck aching, your stomach churning or your arms tingling, do something physical to unhook. You’ll be glad you did.

Good days, Bad days

Some days start off well and glide by seamlessly. Other days are stressful from the start. If your workday looks like the former, take a moment to really enjoy the ease of it all. Appreciate your work environment and savor your interactions. If your workday is the latter (highly stressful), take many moments throughout the day to B-R-E-A-T-H-E. Breathing is the easiest way to calm your mind and soothe your nervous system. Breathe in deeply (counting to three), hold the breath briefly (counting to three), and breathe out slowly (counting to six). Do this until you feel your body calm down. Breathing won’t solve everything, but it will help. Try it and see.