Mornings are crucial to a productive workday. If you approach them in an aimless, meandering fashion, you might find yourself wasting away the hours. Spending time idly staring at your computer screen or procrastinating on important work sets a bad tone for the rest of the day.
The result is a lot of lost productivity. You might end up feeling deprived of energy, even though you haven’t actually put as much effort into work as you could in those hours. Which is why you need to make the effort to kick off your morning.
A healthy and productive morning is the key to a successful rest of the day. Prioritize setting out a workflow to get your day started right.
Here’s how to do it.
Wake up healthy
To start your day with energy, it’s important to have a healthy, early morning. Do you typically wake up late, take a short and frantic shower, rush to shower, and run out the door in 30 minutes or less? Doing that every day can be stressful. That stress adds up, along with the frustration of the morning commute, to become a wild storm of annoyance when you get to work.
That annoyance results in a bad mood, and bad moods are noticeable. They drag you down, and they also negatively affect your teammates. Next time one of your co-workers is in a bad mood, think about how it makes you feel, and you’ll likely find that it does have an impact.
So for the sake of your mood and for the sake of the office atmosphere, try to wake up earlier to get a better start to the day. Dial back your alarm clock by an hour. Set multiple alarms to make sure you wake up. Put your alarm clock somewhere you won’t be able to snooze it easily. And instead of heading back to bed, walk off the drowsiness.
With the extra time, you’ll be able to go about your morning routine at a calm, relaxed pace. You’ll have time to eat breakfast, enjoy your cup of coffee (and even get fancy with it!), and go get some exercise. That way when you get to work, you’ll be pumped up and ready to start the day strong.
A common mistake that people make in the first hour of each workday is to avoid work. They’ll often browse through Facebook, look at funny cat videos, and scroll endlessly through the content wonderland that is the internet.
Doing this can end up wasting time and sinking a ton of productivity. You could use that time to immediately move forward with your projects and avoid procrastinating. You don’t even have to take on a top-priority task. It can be something as simple as cleaning out your email inbox or setting out a schedule for the day.
Start each morning with your mind on work. Immediately complete any tasks left over from the day before to avoid extra work sneaking up on you later. Check your calendar and set out the day’s meetings. Leave the distractions for when you’re in an energy slump and need to take a break from work.
The moment your butt hits your seat, you should open up a work-related app, program, or website. This makes you think proactively about what you’ll be doing the rest of the day. You’ll get more done and feel more accomplished by the end, and won’t feel like you wasted away the entire day doing nothing.
Bonus: Master the Monday mania
Mondays are odd days. Having just gotten through with a relaxing weekend, you might expect to be really unproductive. The common anecdote about Monday says you’ll spend half the day just trying to get over the weekend slump, only to lose a ton of productivity along the way.
But the reality is that Mondays are pretty crazy (and pretty productive) days. You might find yourself feeling like you’re working at blazing speeds and getting a lot done. And there’s a good chance that it’s true, too. According to research, Mondays are the second most productive days of the week.
It’s awesome that the rest and relaxation of the weekend can result in a huge boost of productivity on a Monday. It’s important, however, to make sure that the work you do is organized and tackles the main accomplishments you want to achieve in the week.
So next Monday, instead of diving straight into your day’s work, take the first 30 minutes to plan out your week. It doesn’t have to be a complex list of tasks for each day. That sort of planning can get tedious. Instead, it should be one overarching goal for the entire week accompanied by a few sub-goals that drive you forward.
Use this plan to create a timeline of what you want to get done by mid-week and by the end of the week. You won’t necessarily get more done at the end of each day. You will, however, have a clear end goal to aim for. As a result, your entire workload will be focused and organized.
Workdays don’t have to feel like a slog. A few simple morning attitude adjustments can make a huge difference in how productive you are all day. You can get more done, faster, and without feeling as drained at the end of the day. So take the time to make the changes you need to start each day right.