Have you returned to work full of burning enthusiasm for another year of big achievements? Of course you have! (If not, it’s time to quit. Life’s too short).
But do you know how to get started on this bright new drive to success? Probably not. Of course, you know how to work, but it’s the ‘getting started’ part that so many of us fail to do as well as we might.
In fact, the first ten minutes of your work day may be the most crucial to your overall productivity. But what do even the best-intentioned of us do with those ten minutes? Check our emails, overdose on coffee, and stare out the window waiting for inspiration. Mornings are tough, right?
Early morning productivity boosters
Now is the ideal moment to resolve to start better. Number one resolution: hold back on that morning coffee. It is counter-productive (according to scientists) since the caffeine plays havoc with your cortisol (stress hormone) levels, which tend to peak before 10am. So wait until mid-morning, or between 2pm and 5pm if you really want an effective boost. (Or go for a decaf placebo).
Instead of sipping coffee and daydreaming, what should you do? One good practice is to sit with an old-school paper-and-pen and just write. Make a list of whatever is on your mind, particularly things that need doing, and get them written down so they don’t occur to you randomly through the day, causing unnecessary distraction. For bonus points, sort your pressing worries into a prioritized list of ‘urgent’ and ‘important’ things to do.
About emails: clicking through your inbox may seem an un-taxing way to start your work day, but it’s a productivity killer. According to New York University’s Adam Alter, author of “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” it will take you 25 minutes to get back into the zone after you’ve muddled your mind with a mixed bag of assorted emails.
“[T]he obvious solution there is that there should be certain times in the day when you check email and there should be large periods of the day where your email program, if at all possible, is closed,” says Alter.
You read it here: emails, coffee, and a clogged mind are all counter-productive ways to start the day. Instead, resolve to launch yourself towards success with this guide to 9 early-morning productivity boosters.