If the first thing you do in the morning is check your email, you’re setting yourself up for a day filled with reactive work. This can easily lock you into a cycle of dealing with pseudo-emergencies well into your evenings, leaving you drained and with little to no control over your larger priorities.
Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek offers some simple advice on how to focus on your goals:
Define your one or two most important to-dos before dinner, the day before.
Dan Pink, the NYT bestselling author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, gives similar advice:
Establish a closing ritual. Know when to stop working. Try to end each workday the same way, too. Straighten up your desk. Back up your computer. Make a list of what you need to do tomorrow.
By spending some time the night before to write your goals down for the following day, you’ll return to the driver’s seat.