The first few minutes of your workday are critical to your productivity for the next eight hours.
If you show up late to the office or get engrossed into an overflowing inbox, you could be thrown off and have trouble focusing for the rest of the day.
Some common traps that can reduce your productivity within the first 10 minutes of your workday include:
Getting in late
You could be damaging your workday before it even begins. Arriving at work late begins your day with a manic mindset which in turn can lower your performance throughout the day.
Not greeting your co-workers
Create a positive and friendly atmosphere as soon as you enter the work space. Take a few minutes to catch up with your colleagues, offer them a tea from the staffroom, small things like this will set you, and your colleagues up for a good day.
Did you know that the best time to drink coffee is after 9:30am? This is because the stress hormone cortisol, which regulates energy, generally peaks between 8 and 9am. Drinking coffee too early can actually increase your tolerance to caffeine as it replaces the natural cortisol-induced boost instead of adding to it. So, try and leave your body do a little work and have your morning coffee a little later tomorrow.
Answering every email in your inbox
Checking your emails can become one of those tasks that make it feel like you are accomplishing things, where you are actually in danger of not attending to other, more important tasks on your agenda. Some find that this morning routine clears them of a quick task, whereas for others, it can become a time consuming, sidetracking task. If the latter applies to you, try replying to priority emails in the morning and flagging less important emails to attend to later in the day.
Launching into your work without a schedule
Take time to write down your top priorities, must-dos for the day, any meetings or events you have scheduled, and allocate time to prepare for any calls. To-do lists, highlighting tasks in order of urgency, setting reminders on your calendar, diagrams – find an organisational method that works best for you! Otherwise, you could be caught off guard.
Doing the easiest tasks first
Your energy and will power tend to flag as the day goes on. That is why it is crucial to get the important stuff out of the way as soon as possible. Save yourself the stress of having 10 tasks to complete in the last hour of your day!
Because you have so much energy in the morning, you might feel like you can do a million different things at once, but don’t. You have an entire 8 hours to spread your work out over. Multitasking can unintentionally result in tasks being forgotten or half completed and pushed to one side. Finish one task and then move onto the next to achieve a more productive and efficient work flow.
Dwelling on negative thoughts
Maybe you had a troublesome commute, or a bad nights sleep, or perhaps even had a fight with your partner the night before. You should not let those experiences distract you from the tasks that need to be done today. A working environment is a professional environment. Plus, a negative colleague can cause awkwardness within the workplace, and possibly inflict a negative mood upon others.
Having a meeting
Morning meetings are a waste of your cognitive resources. If you can, make sure they’re scheduled for low energy times like the mid-afternoon, unless you know they require a ton of mental energy.