Are you a go-getter who sits down at your desk and immediately dives into your to-do list? Or maybe you need to jump right into fighting fires before your day turns into a total mess? Whatever the reason, you start your day off with eating the frog and focusing on tasks to the detriment of all other work pursuits, including learning!
Certainly, focusing on tasks first thing in the morning is a key strategy for getting more done, but sometimes, it makes sense to take 15 or 20 minutes to do a little strategic reading before you start crossing off those to-do’s (perhaps while drinking your morning coffee and waiting for your brain to fully wake-up).
You see, by constantly working at full speed ahead with our heads down and focus locked in a straight line, we miss many opportunities to gain new insights and even learn a time-saving trick or two. Because we’re in get-it-done mode, it’s hard for us to justify spending hours and hours cruising through web sites in search of these tidbits.
Now, it’s important to remember that not all mind-fuel is created equal. This certainly isn’t an invitation to start watching cat video after cat video while you leisurely sip your coffee and text links to your BFF. This column wouldn’t be called “Momentum Monday” if that was the case. The key is to have a bit of a strategy in mind before searching for your daily dose.
#1: Create a Learning Goals List — Decide what you would like to learn. Do you want to know more about the mystery of SEO? Are you looking for time-saving hacks for writing speedy blog posts? Seek out those types of posts and bookmark them for your morning reading or subscribe to RSS feeds so you will have a list of potential posts waiting for you every morning.
#2: Follow Curators Who Share Amazing Stuff — Find people who are already tuned into the topics that interest you and follow what they share. For example, while my friend Shelly Kramer certainly shares a lot of hilarity, which is great for a late night giggle, she also shares amazing insightful stuff that makes you think.
#3: Look for Well-Organized, Fast Reads — Try to avoid the dense, text-heavy tomes that require all your brain power to fully comprehend. This is not the time to attempt to read (and understand) Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Save that for your weekend reading if you must. Instead, look for quick, succinct blog posts or video tutorials that have a tangible lesson.
#4: Jot Down a Few Key Action Items — Don’t just read for the sake of reading it. Read to learn something that will save you time or give you new ideas to apply to your business! That means writing down a few action items that you intend to apply. If you find yourself with too many to-do’s from this exercise, use your morning minutes to do them rather than jumping onto learning something new.
#5: Become a Content Curator and Share — Position yourself as a thought leader by sharing the insightful articles you find useful, along with a quick summary of why your audience should take the time to read it.