After a decade in the consulting mines, I’ve found that, for me, the best way to start work is to have a standard process to follow.
Here’s my Start of Business Day Procedure. There are many like it. This one is mine.
🚰 Get a glass and fill it with lemon water
🧼 Clean your workspace for 5 minutes
Take any lost dishes, glasses, or loose pieces of paper and bring them to their homes.
💡 Adjust office lighting
Open the blinds. Turn on the light.
🖥️ Turn on the computer
A necessary step.
🎵 Start Focus At Will
Focus At Will is a quick and easy source of music to help me focus. I’ve been a customer for 4+ years now (https://www.focusatwill.com/).
⏲️ Start Noko
Noko (nokotime.com) is an excellent time tracking app. I use Noko daily and recommend it.
⏲️ Start a new “business admin” project timer in Noko
Start of day stuff? It has a project, so I know how much time I’m spending on it.
Your friend Kai hates hourly billing, but he loves knowing how much time it took to do that thing.
📂 Open Results.md and update the day
On the advice of the excellent Eric Davis (no relation) of Little Stream Software (https://littlestreamsoftware.com), I keep a text file with a running list of everything I complete in a day. Big, small, and everything in-between!
📕 Open Today’s Daily Journal in Notion
I keep a daily journal for life and business.
I keep my journal (and my projects, actions, and notes) in Notion, an all-in-one workspace that helps me write, plan, collaborate, and get organized.
https://notion.so, if you want to check Notion out. It’s awesome.
https://kaidavis.com/loves/notion, if you want to check Notion out and get $10 in credit (and I’ll get $5 in credit).
📂 Open my BattleBoard
I keep my actions and tasks in what I affectionately call my BattleBoard (https://kaidavis.com/battleboard/).
My BattleBoard is a Kanban Board in Notion, through Trello works quite well.
Here’s what a pair of cards (Actions) looks like:
🆓 Start Freedom
The internet is a very distracting place. Freedom (https://freedom.to) frees me from this distraction.
- You enter in the sites you want to block (e.g., Facebook, Reddit, Google News, Slack)
- You schedule a recurring time for Freedom to run and block these distracting sites (e.g., 7 am – 6 pm)
- You are now free
Go and celebrate.
⏰ Start Timebar
Timebar is a small, focused app that stays out of your way and makes sure you don’t lose track of time.
I use Timebar to track my pomodoros/work sprints during the work day.
Timebar turns your entire menubar into a subtle progress bar that slowly slides away.
Check Timebar out here: https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/47506/timebar.
✍️ Open Ulysses
I write my letters and #content in Ulysses, a fantastic writing app that’s markdown compatible (https://ulysses.app/).
✍️ Write The Daily Letter for 25 minutes
I swap Noko over to the “Daily Letter” project, I set Timebar for a 25-minute sprint, and then I get to work.
Now it’s time for you to get to work, my friend.