I started thinking seriously about this subject when I noticed that some days were much more productive than others. And I have no real morning routine once I hit the office door. What did I do that made those good mornings so good?
Turns out, a lot of people have thoughts on how to start your workday right, and I agree with a bunch of their suggestions:
Arrive on time – I hit a lot of traffic in the morning, but I try to be at work by a certain time. If I’m earlier than usual, I feel like I’m already ahead of the game. I like that feeling and it tends to affect the outlook I have on my work that day.
Don’t start the morning reading email – Nothing pulls you in quite like that email inbox. On days when I’ve not let that be my first activity, I can get more done. Certainly, I don’t keep my inbox right where I can see every email that comes in, either! I find those little email notifications that show up in the lower right corner of my screen to be annoying and unnecessary.
Leave busy work for later, tackle the big stuff now – On days when I go in and start my morning with something menial, like entering expenses, I do feel like I’ve accomplished something, yes. But it’s not an accomplishment that motivates me for the rest of the day. A bigger project leaves me with more satisfaction, and I can usually tackle it with a good attitude, because I’ve had a good night’s sleep and my brain is ready for action!
Check in with colleagues or direct reports – Because our managers are motivated to get work done, we sometimes have more than one person working on a particular task. A huddle with your colleagues can ensure that you’re not working at cross-purposes, and can even result in some extra help or advice! Conversely, if you have direct reports, you can also take five minutes to brief them on your goals for the day, just to make sure you’re all rowing in the same direction.
Leave the crankiness at home – Even if I wake up in a bad mood (and I am NOT a morning person!), I force a smile and act happy to see everyone. Usually, my mood turns good in a matter of minutes. People enjoy a smile and react positively to a happy, “Good morning!” when they encounter you in the hallway.
Putting a plan in place to have a productive morning lays the foundation for a fantastic day. Try these hints as a start toward making your day more fruitful.
(Oh, and eat your Wheaties, too! Experts universally agree that breakfast is important to get your mind and body going!)
Next post: Wednesday, October 8