How you handle the first 10 minutes of your work day can determine how productive you are all day – at least according to workplace expert Lynn Taylor, author of, “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant.”
Taylor’s research suggests the most successful workers begin their day with these habits:
- Reflect and be present – Take a moment to reflect on where you have been and where you are going, in life and in your job. Then center yourself, prepare to manage your day, and focus on what you need to accomplish.
- Get comfortable – Your day will go better if your environment is functional. Check that lighting is good and that your workspace is as ergonomic as possible.
- Review and prioritize your to-do list – This will help you remember to stick to your plan, make needed adjustments, and focus on what is important. Mentally running through your day boosts your confidence and starts you in the right direction.
- Stretch, stand and walk – Successful people stretch and get their circulation going before assuming a sedentary position.
- Take time to greet your team – While you are up and about, check in with your team and/or boss. Being friendly first thing in the morning makes the workplace more pleasant – and gives you the chance to sharpen your people skills.
- Smile and laugh – Studies show that when we use our ‘smile muscles,’ our mood becomes more positive. Just having a pleasant expression can be enough to reinforce a good attitude.
- If you are a manager, take a ‘read’ on your staff – Just a brief meet-and-greet can give you a cursory reading on their energy level and job satisfaction. If someone seems out of sorts, make a mental note to check back later and address any potential issues.
- Strategically check email – Do a quick scan, prioritizing those you need to respond to soonest and those that can wait until later.
- Anticipate and avoid distractions – Successful professionals know how to maximize their time. Put off low-priority calls, chatty co-workers, optional meetings, and social media texts to focus on your tasks until you feel you have the day well in hand.
- Take a moment to be grateful – Identify something you are grateful for, either personally or in your job. It’s motivational, helps put things in perspective, and starts the day more smoothly.