Scrambling to get everything done at the last minute is never fun. Here are a few tips to help you own your morning routine to ensure that every day is productive, starting the moment you wake up!
1. Wake up early! (Don’t forget to go to bed at a decent hour first.) Regardless of whether “early” for you is 5:00am or 9:00am, start your day a few minutes earlier, and perhaps get to work 15 minutes earlier than usual. Use those 15 minutes to get emails and texts out of the way, and to begin planning your day. You may find that you’re much more productive in those first few hours as a result of the 15 minutes you dedicated to getting organized for your day!
2. Don’t forget to eat breakfast! Food = energy, so kickstart your day with something in your tummy. And no, coffee doesn’t count as food!
3. Go over your to do list. Identify the three prioritiy tasks for the day. Write down your secondary tasks. Identify additional tasks that are on your radar, but sitting on the back burner for now. Get all of your thoughts onto paper, then move your attention to the one’s you’ve identified as priorities. That’s what your focus will be for the first few hours of your working day. If you finish those, cross them off, celebrate your productive morning with a yummy treat, and start crossing off those secondary tasks!
4. Minimize distractions: email, phone, social media…(There’s an app for that!) Task switching takes a lot of energy and you are certainly less efficient when your focus is continually taken away from the task at hand. Do what you need to do to get your day started with your social media and cell phone, then hide your phone (out of sight, out of mind), and close your browsers. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you can get things done when you focus entirely on one task!
5. Begin your most important tasks first thing. Did you know that most people are more productive in the morning? Find your most productive hours and plan your difficult tasks during those peak times for increased productivity on your priority tasks. Stuck on one of your priority tasks? Don’t let distractions win! Move on to your next priority task, or cross a quick additional task off of your list, and come back to your challenging one a little later.