Successful women think differently, so it stands to reason their morning office routine is a little different, too. If you’re looking to kick your business practices up a notch, consider starting your business day off the way that successful women in leadership like Tina Wells and Eva Chen do. Keep in mind that you can’t do all of these in that first hour–– we know you’re only human! Just find the one that works best for your leadership style.
Kick the Day Off With A To-Do List
Creating a visualization of the tasks you have ahead is a great way to make use of that first hour because it sets you up for the rest of your day. It doesn’t matter what your list looks like: scribbled bullets on lined paper scrawled on a whiteboard, triple-tiered and prioritized––as long as it helps you get your thoughts in order so you can get your day in order. Female leaders like Marissa Mayer (the former Yahoo CEO) make granular to-do lists for the people they need to talk to that day and organize their tasks that way.
But what if quantifying your daily tasks gives you a panic attack? Well, you’re not alone. Tons of people have turned to what is called the Four-Quadrant Time Management System, and if you struggle to prioritize, get ready to add this system to your female business leader toolbox.
Basically, the Four-Quadrant system works by forcing you to determine which of your tasks has high priority. To start, you make a table of four boxes that looks like this:
And then you sort your tasks into the proper category. If you’re really struggling under the weight of everything you need to do, make the “Do Now” section smaller. That’s right, shrink it. This will force you to weigh what exactly needs to be done right now, and what has a little more wiggle room than you initially thought. The quadrant system will also force you to delegate. 🙃
Eva Chen’s tip to female business leaders and women entrepreneurs is to eat healthy snacks. Sounds simple, right? If you know you’re going to be at your desk all day, make sure the food within arm’s distance is something your body will thank you for. And why stop at just your desk? Make sure the office/ work location is stocked with fruit, trail mix, or maybe a veggie tray. Keep your employee’s blood sugar up without giving them a total sugar rush…and that productivity-gutting sugar crash.
Meet With Your Team –– And Your Mentors
This is a no-brainer, right? If you have the time to touch base with your team, do it!
Talking to other people can get your creative juices flowing again and get you motivated. Plus, it makes your employees feel like they’re being heard. But this isn’t just about leading, it’s also about listening. Try to stay in touch with your mentors and other friends in the industry. Keep an open line of communication; you never know where your next inspiration could come from.
Brush up on current events or newsletters
Tina Wells, the CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, advises women in leadership to start their day by brushing up on current events and/or industry events. If you’re not already signed up, start subscribing to newsletters from leading companies in your industry. The beginning of the day is likely when you’re able to retain information the best, so you’re more likely to read for retention than if you skimmed a newsletter during lunch.
Check and respond to email
Lastly, the task a lot of women in leadership tend to have in common: checking your email. You’ll get the most out of your morning email session if you were able to sit down at the end of the previous workday and set aside the emails that need immediate attention in the morning. Use this time to reply to the most pressing of your correspondences, or to send out your next round of important emails.