Advertising

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
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.”

Advertising

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’.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

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

Trending in Productivity

1 5 Values of an Effective Leader 2 How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them 3 The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work) 4 30 Practical Ideas to Create Your Best Morning Routine 5 Is People Management the Right Career Path for You?

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
Advertising

No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

Advertising

From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

Advertising

The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

Advertising

But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

Advertising

Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Advertising

Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

Read Next