How you handle the first 10 minutes of your workday can largely determine how productive and effective you’ll be the rest of the day.
“Getting off on the right foot isn’t just important with relationships, it’s important with the start of any workday, as well — particularly busy ones,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humour to Work.”
“The first 10 minutes can also set the tone and your attitude for the day — so it’s imperative that you start it off right, with a clean slate,” he says.
Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behaviour and Thrive in Your Job,” agrees. “Those brief moments can predict your all-important mindset because they’re the first impression of your day ahead,” she says.
“The first few minutes at the office can be the most stressful because there’s a level of anxiety about what you may face: a sudden onslaught of urgent emails; last minute crises or meetings; a call to stop by the boss’s office; a cranky coworker, and so on. It takes greater self-awareness, a positive mindset, and self-training each morning to counter what feels like negative gravity pulling you down as you face overwhelming demands,” she explains.
Kerr says successful people tend to thrive on routine and habits. “Creating consistent habits is largely what makes them successful,” he explains. “And a key time for habit-forming practices is at the start of the day.”
Here are 18 things the most successful people do in the first 10 minutes of their workday:
Successful people take a minute at the beginning of the workday to make sure their chair is adjusted properly and the items they frequently access -- keyboard, phone, computer mouse -- are all in comfortable reach, Taylor says. 'Ensure that you have proper lighting,' she adds. 'Your day will go well if you have an ergonomic environment that's functional.'
Not being able to find things is a huge office time waster. 'So while you may pride yourself on jumping into the fray with no down time, clutter will catch up to you,' says Taylor. 'Facing a clean or cleaner slate on your desk and desktop will better clear your mind for the day's tasks.'
We all face some of the same anticipated distractions at the start of the day, and recognising them is the first step to mitigating distractions.
'These may include low priority calls, unnecessary optional meetings, chatty coworkers, new incoming emails or texts, social media, or other low priority notifications -- all of which challenge you to focus on your day's plan.'
According to Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute and author of the book 'The Conservative Heart,' adopting a service mindset can reduce stress and raises job satisfaction because it displaces the object of attention from oneself.
'When I am working for myself, any disappointing outcome is a stressful, unpleasant reflection on me,' he writes. 'When I am serving, on the other hand, the work is always intrinsically valuable because of its intention.'
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