Have you ever heard about starting your day off on the right foot? There’s solid science and hard-won experience behind this working man’s mantra. What you do during your first and last 20 minutes at work can have a big impact on how the rest of the day goes, from productivity to your personal happiness.
Start by taking care of yourself. Did you know that staying hydrated can boost your daily productivity, no expensive supplements or sport drinks needed? Mild dehydration can sneak up on you, leading to irritability, low energy, brain fog, poor creativity and problem solving, and more. That’s why it’s important to start your day hydrated and keep sipping water during the day.
What’s the problem with only drinking when you’re thirsty? Well, mild thirst is very easy to overlook when you’re working hard. Make sure you’re drinking the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. While you’re at it, reach for actual water and not soft drinks or coffee, which can dehydrate you more.
Next, get organized. It may sound counterproductive to take time off at the start of the day to write a to-do list, especially when you’re swamped with projects and deadlines. However, that’s actually the time when you need to do this the most! Really pressed for time? Take just five minutes at the start of your day.
First, take a few deep breaths and clear your head. Then think about the big picture for your projects. Got that in mind? Now write down what you want to accomplish today, tomorrow, and this week. This way, you have a clear plan of attack for even the busiest days in the office.
Another tip is to know your natural cycles of energy and attention. For many people (but not everyone!), they are sharpest at the start of the day and have an energy slump in the early to mid afternoon. In this case, tackle the most demanding projects when you’re at your best and save mindless busywork such as filing documents for the afternoon.
The last 15-20 minutes of the day are a great time to set yourself up for tomorrow’s success. This is when you look over your to-do list and bump ahead anything important that didn’t get completed. Take a minute to think about what went well and what didn’t work out. For instance, maybe that tax-related project was harder than you thought and you regret tackling it just after lunch. That’s good! Now you know how to adjust your schedule in the future.
Next, check emails, send memos, and look at customer feedback. This will give you a head start working on tomorrow’s problems and brainstorming solutions.
Finally, walk away. Oh, sure you go home at the end of the workday, but equally important is to actually leave work where it is. Mute work chats and emails and make sure people know not to contact you unless it’s a genuine emergency. That way, you will be able to fully rest and recover and approach tomorrow with fresh eyes and a lot of energy.
Now that you’ve boosted your productivity with a solid morning and evening routine, it’s time to put your skills to good use. This is where a talent placement agency like Ad-VANCE can help. Contact us today to see which exciting job opportunities are available in a wide variety of fields in your area.