The first few hours of your have a significant effect of your level of productivity. It sets the pace of the day and how my morning starts usually direct or derails my focus. Having a good productive start gives you greater control of critical tasks, achieving better results and ultimately greater success to both your career and well being. For me I don’t like ending the day feeling unproductive and distracted.
Arrive on Time and Keep it Consistant
You’d think it’s obvious to most of us to show up and work your expected hours. Many don’t have a consistent start time. This affects how your peers or managers who were already in the office perceives you. You can feel they are silently judging you. Worrying about your reputation is mentally draining and can affect your day. If your routine or commute requires you to arrive later then your peers, keep it consistant and try to leave after you served the minimum 8 (ish) hours. Peers are more forgiving when they know your set hours and it’s obvious that you need to come in later.
Take a Deep Breath and Relax
Seriously. Take. A. Deep. Breath. Many come into work stressed due to the terrible morning commute or running late due to morning errands. As soon as they arrive they dive in to the issues of the day. Slowing down and taking a moment before you start does wonders. In the morning, I actually meditate with a cup of coffee. I try not a tackle anything work related. I savour that cup. When I do start the day, I’m not starting it in a harried state that probably affects the quality of my work
Be a Morning Person
(or at least pretend to be)
I’m a hard core night owl. I regularly work on my small business at night since that’s the only time I have to give it attention. On average it’s 4 hours a night so I go to bed at 12:30AM and wake at 6:00AM the next day. I still have a day job that still deserves my 100%. If you are not a morning person, you need to “suck it up” and at least have the façade of having a positive attitude. You don’t need to be the extreme and come in singing the days praises. A politer “Good Morning” without the tired grumpy tone in your voice will suffice. After practicing for a few years it actually became part of my professional personality. Your attitude has a direct impact on its effects to others
Organize your day
That first hour is the best time to assess your priorites and focus on what you absolutely need to accomplish. To my earlier point, that is why I savour my first cup of coffee. I don’t dive into the never ending new emails. Sometimes I write a top 5 to do list after thinking of what I left off the previous day but only if I have alot on my plate. 90% of those emails are not true priorities. If it was that important, I’d have an phone call, voice mail or a post it note on my monitor. My take is if someone take the time to pick up a phone or write a note, that task is extremely important to them. Those are the people that I will break my ‘savour my coffee’ rule as it doesn’t happen very often. Their gratitude is usually more motivating and still sets a positive tone to my day.