This week we are examining ways to maximize productivity first thing in the morning. It is important to start off your day productively because the momentum you generate in the morning helps to carry you through the rest of your day. A productive morning is essential to maximizing your potential each day. Part of creating a productive morning is making sure you leave your house in a great mood. We’ve all had those mornings that leave us feeling terrible, we’re rushed, the kids are running behind, we just got a phone call, we argue with our partner before leaving etc. This is a recipe for an unproductive morning because we will spend the next couple of hours trying to get back on track. The following is a list of tips to help ensure that your mornings are productive.
- Be kind to yourself by getting adequate rest and by being proactive. If you bring a lunch to work, pack it the night before and iron and lay out your clothes for the next day. It may also be helpful to make a to-do list for the next day so you can focus more on getting yourself ready when you wake up but, if you find that making your to-do list in the morning focuses you, then leave it until the morning.
- Wake up earlier to give yourself more time to get ready in the morning and minimize the need to rush.
- Follow a morning routine every day that leaves you feeling energized and ready to go. Whether it’s meditating, exercising, eating breakfast before anything else, a long shower, etc. figure out what works for you and stick with it.
- Eat breakfast! Your brain and your body need fuel to get started and to continue to run efficiently all day so when you eat a healthy breakfast you set yourself up for success. Also be sure to drink some water with your morning juice, tea, or coffee to keep you hydrated.
- Block out time on your calendar to accomplish the items on the your to-do list. Be sure to schedule breaks as they can maximize your productivity by providing an appropriate time for distractions and healthy snacking.
- Avoid using your electronics in the morning. Our electronics are often a time trap and an all too easy distraction. Make the morning about you and leave checking text messages or emails for later. Forget about your social media sites until your scheduled break times.
- Leave for work early. There’s nothing worse than already running late and then getting stuck in traffic. It’s better to arrive at work early and have some time to yourself than to fly through the door late and stressed and have to calm down.
- Learn when you are most productive and schedule your tasks appropriately. If you find that you are more productive in the morning, plan to start your projects first thing to get the most out of yourself. Similarly, if you find you are better able to focus in the afternoon, leave writing or tasks that require more attention until you know you are in a better frame of mind to get them done properly.
- Email. There is an ongoing controversy over when is the best time to check your email. Some say leave it alone until noon so you can stay focused on the tasks at hand, while others say check it right away so that you don’t have it hanging over your head distracting you. Conventions within your organization also have an impact on this decision. Find what works best for you and stick with it.
- Close your door and set your phone on silent or airplane mode. As soon as you get in or settle down to work, remove all distractions. Shutting your door allows others to know that you are busy and do not want to be disturbed. If it doesn’t seem to be working, leave a note that tells your coworkers not to disturb you. Setting your phone on airplane mode will remove any distracting notifications while you work.
Start your day off right and you are sure to feel calmer and more relaxed as you begin working. The simple choices you make between waking up and arriving at work can have a significant impact on your productivity so create your morning routine for success today.