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7 Things That Productive People Do In The First 10 Minutes At Work

7 Things That Productive People Do In The First 10 Minutes At Work

Ah, a new day at the office. But will it be a good one, full of productivity? Even though offices can be unpredictable places, there are things that productive people do differently to squeeze the most out of their work day, every day.

Productive people know that the first 10 minutes of their day in the office can make or break the amount of work they can get done. Productive people make sure to follow through with a few actions before they get down to business.

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So if you’re interested in super charging your productivity, do these 7 things in the first 10 minutes at work.

1. Write 3 things you’re grateful for

A study on gratitude done at the University of Miami found that people who kept a daily journal of gratitude were happier, more productive and much happier. Sheryl Towers, professional development coach, says in her book Seeds of Success: “The results of the study indicated that daily gratitude exercises resulted in higher reported levels of alertness, enthusiasm, determination, optimism and energy. Additionally, the gratitude group experienced less depression and stress, was more likely to help others, exercised more regularly and made more progress toward personal goals. According to the findings, people who feel grateful are also more likely to feel loved.”

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2. Clear your desk

Nothing is worse than clutter in driving down productivity. If you are scrambling every time you need a pen, stapler, notepad or important document, that’s wasted time you’ll never get back. Take a few moments during the first 10 minutes of your day to make sure that everything on your desk is straightened out and exactly where you expect it to be.

3. Connect with your coworkers

Start the day off right with a few friendly ‘hellos’ to your office comrades. A big part of productivity is knowing when to ask questions, and to whom. Trying to figure everything out on your own sets up roadblocks in your road to getting your goals accomplished. Therefore, make sure that you create and maintain positive working relationships with your coworkers. Productive people recognize how crucial this is, and so spend a few moments in the first 10 minutes of every day to round the office and say ‘good morning’.

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4. Write down your top three goals for the day

Productive people take the time to write the top three things which would make their day successful if completed. These help keep you focused on the prize when your day might get detracted by busy office life.

5. Review and confirm your to-do list

Once you’ve got your priorities ironed out, it is crucial that you take the time to make sure that your the tasks you’ve set for yourself are aligned with your goals and priorities. Having a careful to-do list organizes your day and helps you understand the specific tasks you need to plan around.

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6. Write down your daily affirmation

Productive people are upbeat, positive and optimistic. They don’t spend time mired in negativity – they spend time taking action. Matthew D. Della Porta, author of The How of Happiness, writes “Simply put, daily affirmations train your brain to think positively; they are uplifting truths you want to believe and heartwarming convictions about yourself or the world as a whole. They are one of the most effective ways to proactively and permanently change the way you think.”

7. Read an inspirational quote

Super charge your day with some words of wisdom from success Productive People before you. Before jumping into work, productive people seek inspiration from their forefathers and mothers by reading an inspirational quote.

The first 10 minutes of the day can truly set the level of your productivity of the rest of the day. Follow in the footsteps of the more productive among us to make sure that you set yourself up for productivity success everyday.

Featured photo credit: Girl Using Laptop In Hotel Room/Stokpic via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on September 17, 2020

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

5 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

Try these five practical ways to overcome a mental block.

1. Break Your Project Down

A few years ago, I was working on changing a company product that I believed would hugely benefit our customers. Sounds great, right?

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As inspired as I was to make people’s lives easier, though, the sheer magnitude of the task at hand felt overwhelming. Every morning, I cracked open my laptop to work and felt totally paralyzed. I loved the idea, yes, but actualizing it felt risky. What if it didn’t turn out the way I pictured in my mind? More importantly, where would I even begin?

A former colleague gave me great advice over coffee:

Change how you think. Start by breaking the big project down into small tasks.

When a major project overwhelms you, you only see the entire forest instead of the individual trees. And as you stare it down, you start to feel discouraged by your own lack of progress, thus slowing you down further.

Breaking down a massive task into smaller chunks makes the work feel more manageable. You’ll have multiple clear places to start and end with, which will lend a motivating sense of productivity and mastery to your process. Learn more about it here: The Motivation Flowchart: The Mental Process of Successful People

Think of it as accumulating small wins. When you realize you’re more capable than you have once thought, you’ll develop the momentum and confidence needed to get your big job done little by little.[2]

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2. Change Up Your Scenery

Of course, there’s a time and place for sitting down to get things done. But if you’re experiencing a mental block, switching up your surroundings can make a big difference in your output.

Have you ever noticed how your environment directly impacts your performance and mood?

Your brain associates your physical surroundings with certain feelings and activities. So, if you feel mentally stuck, your mind may need some new sensory stimuli.

During this time in your life, it may not be possible to set up shop at a cafe or move from your cubicle to a conference room, so you may need to think outside the box. If you’re working remotely in a home office, try going to your dining table or couch. If the weather cooperates, sit outside for a bit with your computer or take a walk around the block.

You can also simply rearrange your workspace. Not sure where to begin? Try decluttering. Some studies show that an organized desk enhances productivity.[3]

The point is to stimulate your brain with new sounds and sights. You may find a much-needed dose of inspiration when you work while breathing in the fresh air, listening to city sounds, or staying in the comfort of your own living space.

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3. Do an Unrelated Activity

When it comes to productivity, a bit of distraction isn’t always a bad thing. That’s especially true if your chosen distraction helps you get things done in the long run.

Have you realized how your most creative thoughts tend to bubble up when you’re, say, lying in bed or taking a shower? In their research of the “incubation period,” scientists have discovered that people’s best ideas seem to surface when they aren’t actively trying to solve a problem.[4]

In a 2010 study, participants needed to look for a roommate or new employee based on the profiles that the researchers gave. The people who had a brief “incubation period” — in this case, working on an anagram — consistently made better choices than those who spent more time weighing their options.

If you can’t seem to prime your brain for a project, try doing something completely unrelated to work, such as washing your dishes, working out, or calling a friend. Some experts say finding another low-stake project to work on can help jump-start the creative part of your brain and activate your flow.[5]

The key is to allow your unconscious mind to do its best work: eliciting the new knowledge your conscious mind may be ignoring or suppressing.[6]

4. Be Physical

Feeling antsy? When your mind won’t seem to settle into a state of flow, it may help to swap out your mental activity for a physical one and see how it impacts your perspective.

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While any physical activity is beneficial for your body — and getting up to move can serve as a helpful form of distraction — certain forms of exercise can more directly impact the mind. To be specific, relaxing, flow-based exercises like dance, yoga, or tai chi can create a gentle sense of momentum in your body, which can prime your brain for the same state.

Stress-reducing activities may also be necessary. Meditating or taking slow, deep breaths will also calm your nervous system if you’re feeling overwhelmed. Evidence shows that the logical, creative part of your brain essentially shuts off when you’re stressed.[7]

On the flip side, when your mind and body are relaxed, you can think more clearly, be more creative, and focus for longer periods — all of which will help you overcome a mental block.

5. Don’t Force It

It can be frustrating to fight against your own mind. If your mental block won’t go away after some effort, it may be time to take a break. Forcing creative thoughts only adds to your stress levels, which in turn inhibits your ability to think creatively. And if you sit and stare at a project for too long, you’ll not only waste valuable time but also begin to associate this specific work with frustration and produce work you’re not proud of.

“I know that forcing something is not going to create anything beyond mediocre, so I step aside and work on a different project until it hits me,” the artist Ben Skinner said about his creative process.[8]

If your work isn’t time-sensitive, then it may make sense to step away for a while to focus on something else, be it an administrative task that requires less creativity or a project that you feel motivated to work on.

When the time is right, you’ll find your way back to the original task with a fresh, creative perspective (hopefully).

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Featured photo credit: Jonas Leupe via unsplash.com

Reference

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