Think about how the first 15 minutes can set the tone for your workday. Imagine if you arrive late and rush to your desk, or if you have a fight with your spouse while you’re on your commute, or if you realize you forgot that you had an early meeting and missed it.
With some organization, a positive mindset and a plan of action to tackle your day, experts say the first 15 minutes of your day can springboard your workday to be productive. Here’s a deeper dive.
Have a game plan for work-day success
It’s important to take control of your day the minute you start working, recommended Amy Morin, a psychotherapist and author of “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.”
“Then, you can work on your to-do list in an order that makes sense and helps you tackle the most urgent tasks,” Morin said. “Otherwise, you might waste hours answering emails and handling incoming requests that aren’t as important.”
The first 15 minutes can also help you establish an agenda for the day.
“You can get organized and create your plan for ultimate productivity,” she added. It’s an opportunity to get into the best mindset that will help you tune out distractions and turn down things that aren’t in line with your goals, said Morin.
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Use the first 15 minutes to prioritize tasks
Think about what you need to accomplish on a particular workday. For example, do you have small tasks, meetings, or a long-range project? Setting priorities can make deciding what to handle in what order a bit easier to grasp.
“It’s important to know yourself well to know which tasks you should do at what time,” Morin told FOX Business.
For some, she said, getting small tasks done may give you a boost in feeling accomplished.
“It’s a matter of knowing your own personality, your energy levels, and how you work best,” Morin said. “A little trial and error can help you discover your personal formula for being most productive.”
How to shake off negative events that could trigger negativity in your workday
If you woke up with a headache, had a poor night’s sleep, argued with your spouse about finances or experienced a traffic jam on your commute, these events could cloud your work productivity, so using the first 15 minutes to re-frame your mindset could prove helpful as you embark on your workday.
“To say the least, life is not without challenges,” Amy Marcum, manager of HR services with Insperity, told FOX Business. “Every professional will at some point in their career deal with issues in their personal lives bleeding into their workday.”
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Marcum said the key is letting go of these challenges for the time being, or at least setting them aside, so you can get things done during your workday.
“That might not always feel easy; however, for day-to-day challenges like a poor night’s sleep, it is usually the best decision for employees to try to accomplish what they can, so they do not create greater stress for themselves later,” she explained.
What are some daily tips to increase your productivity at the start of your workday?
Daily habits are personal to each employee, but here are general tips for the first 15 minutes of the day:
Review your calendar
Look over that day’s schedule and identify any meetings that might need advanced preparation, Marcum said.
Take a moment to self-reflect on any personal or professional challenges that could get in the way of productivity, suggested Marcum.
“Create a plan to overcome these challenges, if only for the day,” she said.
Refrain from getting bogged down on any one task
The morning is a good time to glance over new emails and alerts. However, Marcum advised to be mindful of diving into any particular task right away.
Begin by writing down all the tasks at hand, and then assess which of those tasks is most important.
“Develop a schedule that ensures the most crucial tasks will be completed first,” added Marcum. “From there, attempt to work on just one task at a time, rather than multitasking.”
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