I’ve changed the way I work. It’s a small change but is already having a significant impact on how much I get done, and how I feel about what I’m doing.

Currently, I’m reading 99U’s book called ‘Manage Your Day-To-Day‘ and, from the first chapter it’s struck a chord.

The biggest problem we face today is “reactionary workflow”. We have started to live a life pecking away at the many inboxes around us, trying to stay afloat by responding and reacting to the latest emails, text messages, tweets, and so on.

That’s my day, right there. A reactionary nightmare. And this …

At the beginning of the day, faced with an overflowing inbox, an array of voicemail messages, and the list of next steps from your last meting, it’s tempting to ‘clear the decks’ before starting your own work [T]he trouble with this approach is it means spending the best part of the day on other people’s priorities.

So, I’m restructuring my day. From now on, my email will not be opened before 1pm (ideally, I’ll leave it until 2pm). The best hours of my day are 9 – 12 I’m more alert, more focused, and more productive, and I’ll be using that time to do work that I decide upon. That may well be work for other people – given I work in a client based business, that’s expected – but I’ll decide who it’s for.

Whatever it is I’m doing, it’s me who’s making the choice to do it. I’m no longer going to spend my most productive time working through somebody else’s priorities. Hurrah!

(I really can recommend the book: Manage Your Day-To-Day)

And as a bonus, I just found this neat summary video: