“The key to my success is that I bookend my days.”

I’ll never forget when my friend Marcus shared that one idea with me over lunch. We were discussing career growth and how he, year over year, is one of the top producers for his enterprise sales-team. 

Younger associates are always in awe of how he’s able to consistently perform well and ask for his advice. Every conversation always goes back to the importance of how he bookends his days with his most important tasks.

Most of the younger professionals think it’s too simple and ultimately fail to consistently apply what Marcus believes. Is it a wonder they also fail to reach his level of success?

We have to learn to bookend our days, too.

You may not be in sales like Marcus, but you can still use his daily habit to grow toward your goals.

Marcus invests the first 30-60 minutes of every work day making sales calls. He repeats the process during the last part of his work day. Sales drive his career & company’s growth so he makes sure that he starts and finishes each day focusing on them.

And the practice applies to more than just with sales.

When I was writing my book, the most important thing I did every morning was write 500 words. I shared that in the book as to how I “ate the elephant” goal of completing the book. What I left out though was how I bookended the last half of my day by outlining ideas or thoughts for tomorrow’s writing. That way I finished the day with an outline of what I’d get after tomorrow.

Have a weight-loss goal? Start your day with training and end the day with prepping tomorrow’s meals.

Have a career aspiration? Start your day reading/studying about your position or learning a new skill on YouTube and finish your day building your network offline at events or on LinkedIn.

Have a sales goal? Just follow Marcus’ advice – start and end your day making sales calls.

Challenge yourself to start AND finish every day for the next week with the most important action steps you have for your career, health, or life. You pick, but make sure you book-end your day.

Be consistent.

It’s not easy – there are a million distractions every moment that can derail our focus from the bookends. But if you commit to it, work the process each day, and keep your day bookended, you’ll find you’re able to achieve results that once seemed elusive.

Win your week Competitor, I’m cheering for you.