Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours on a normally quick work task. However, that’s what happens when your workday becomes unproductive.
Smartphones, social media, and other distractions make it hard to focus, especially when a task or job is particularly tedious or boring.
According to productivity experts, focusing on helpful routines each morning can keep workers focused throughout the day.
Here are some dos and don’ts to start your workday to help keep you productive:
#1 DON’T START YOUR DAY IN WORK MODE.
Experts say jumping immediately into work mode is one behavior to avoid. That means doing something meaningful before heading in. You can start the day with a walk or yoga, cook and eat a hearty breakfast, or do some chores before heading to work. The right morning routine can be different for different people. So practice figuring out what fits best for you.
#2 KEEP YOUR TO-DO LIST SHORT.
Every to-do list should be as brief as possible and always prioritized. According to experts, a long to-do list is tempting. Still, it is also a surefire way to start the workday feeling overwhelmed, which isn’t great for productivity. If your to-do list is unavoidably long, you might be tempted to tackle the easy tasks first, but that may not always be the best idea. One of the best ways to keep your to-do list in check is to spend a few minutes at the end of each workday planning the next and deciding which three tasks are most important. Experts say tackling those tasks first is the best way to use your energy and time.
#3 AVOID LOOKING AT YOUR PHONE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING.
It is hard for most people to not immediately check their phone or emails or interact with a screen first thing in the morning. However, experts say you will have a more productive day if you can avoid that behavior. A great way to resist that temptation is by using an old-school physical alarm clock instead of using your phone’s alarm.
#4 AVOID HAVING TOUGH CONVERSATIONS AHEAD OF WORK.
Experts say one of the best ways to drain energy before the workday starts is to partake in a difficult conversation immediately after waking up. Avoiding hard conversations first thing in the morning can significantly drain a worker’s productivity. Regardless of whether it is a talk with your child, your spouse, or even a coworker, any conversation that has the potential to be difficult should wait until late in the day. Such early talk can set a tone for the entire workday, and if the conversation makes you feel bad, experts say that you will feel distracted and bad throughout the day.
#5 MAKE SURE YOUR DAY IS STRUCTURED.
Experts say that a great way to prepare for your day and set the tone for productivity is to dedicate blocks of time to your work tasks. By doing so, you can allot plenty of time for necessary tasks while avoiding a loss of focus on the day’s assignments. Start by setting up dedicated times for your daily to-dos, allowing you to focus on other tasks outside of that time. This method can be especially helpful when you have a big project that needs to get done while still performing your daily duties.
#6 AVOID DISTRACTIONS.
If you don’t take care of any distractions, you will find it difficult to work. One of the major distractions that workers face is their phones. Consider keeping it stowed away or upside down with the “do not disturb” feature turned on. However, anything can become a distraction, so experts say that you need to figure out what distracts you from your work and find a way to address it so that it doesn’t pull your focus away from your work throughout the day.
#7 BE AWARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.
Consider creating a morning mental health practice to show up at work as the healthiest version of you. Experts say it is a great idea for you and your well-being and those around you. Your mental health practice may include meditation, prayer, or journaling. Perhaps it means getting your daily workout in before work or listening to a favorite podcast. Regardless of what it looks like, this sort of practice can be incredibly helpful in making your day more productive.
THERE’S NO MAGIC BULLET FOR PRODUCTIVITY.
These are just a few ways workers can remain productive throughout the day.
Unfortunately, there is no magic bullet to increase productivity.
According to experts, the key is to create healthy habits that will support you throughout the day. However, everyone is different. So, if one of these tips doesn’t work for you, all hope is not lost. Simply find the routines and tools that are right for you.