Make Your Mornings More Productive with These Work Hacks
Rev. Dr. Kitty Boitnott, NBCT, RScP
Heart-Centered Career Transition and Job Search Coach | Life Strategies Coach
Do you start your mornings with a burst of energy that allows you to be productive? Or do you go about your mornings shuffling activities around without any real sense of purpose?
Some people are naturally "morning people," which means they tend to be sharper and more chipper than their counterparts who are not "morning people." For the early birds, morning is the best time for them to get things done and knock tasks off their to-do lists.
Whether you are a morning person or not, you can learn to make good use of your mornings and learn how to be more productive at work or home with these simple productivity hacks.
The best part of being productive in the morning is the sense of accomplishment you feel the rest of the day.
Having highly productive mornings five days a week is easier than you may think.
Just implement these three simple work hacks and get it done.
1) Use a To-Do List
It’s easier to get to work when you already know what you need to do. Write out a to-do list for yourself before you start your day. Focus on the most important tasks you need to get done each given morning.
Break down bigger projects into smaller bite-sized chunks.
I like to make my list at the end of the workday. I’m still right in the middle of doing business and have a good idea of what needs to be done the next day. Writing down my to-do list while things are still fresh on my mind saves me time the next morning.
Another option is to write your list first thing in the morning while you’re drinking your coffee and mentally planning your day's activities. By the time the caffeine kicks in, you’ll be ready to get to work.
2) No Phone, Email, or Social Media for the First Few Hours Of Your Day
Hack number 2 is as important as your to-do list. You won’t get much done if you’re distracted by email, phone messages, or social media. Yes, emails need to be checked, phone calls need to be returned, and you should interact on social media as you need to, but schedule a time to do those things.
Email is my biggest stumbling block. I do much better if I turn off mail, so I don't see the number of piling messages in my inbox. I then schedule a time when email becomes the priority, and I check it and respond to those messages that require a response. Steering clear of email first thing in the morning is a good idea because it is too easy to let yourself become distracted and drawn away from your to-do's.
Keep your first few hours in the mornings free of all distractions.
You don’t need to spend your valuable time putting out fires. Focus on things that will make you feel accomplished. Stick to activities that contribute to your work or your home so that you can feel that important sense of accomplishment instead of feeling at loose ends.
3) Work On Your Top Three Tasks First
Take another look at that to-do list you made out. Pick the top three things that you need to get done today, no matter what. Prioritize your tasks.
There is a saying that people sometimes use when illustrating the importance of prioritizing to avoid procrastination. The saying is, "Eat the frog first." Now, you may be thinking, Ewww, who wants to eat a frog, right? But the frog is a metaphor for the tasks you don't want to do, so you keep putting them off. The idea is to get it over with. Thus, "Eat the frog first."
Work on the most unpleasant tasks first, and make sure you get them done before lunch. That way, no matter what happens with the rest of your day, you will have made some important progress.
Stick to these three simple time hacks and watch them transform your mornings.
You’ll get more done and make progress more quickly than you thought possible.
And don’t be surprised if that productivity carries into the rest of your day. You set the tone for your entire workday in the morning by getting into the habit of following these simple rules.
Until next time.