Unlocking the Power of Your First 10 Minutes in the Office
You walk in your office and, instantly, you feel it. Your palms get sweaty. You start to overthink things. The room begins to spin. Then, you’re shaken from this daze by the sound of your boss knocking on your door.
Overdramatic? Maybe, but I’d venture a guess that many of us wish we could improve the first few minutes of our day. Even that short time when we first get in is important. It sets the foundation for the rest of the day. Either the foundation is rock solid and ready for us to knock out that big project, or the foundation is shaky and we’re given over to unproductivity. Why not set your own agenda? Here are a few quick tips on how to set the tone for your day right when you get in.
Transition Your Mind
That header may sound a little weird, but really all I mean by that is you should take a few minutes first thing in the morning to transition from home to work. Maybe you got out of bed late or your commute was especially frustrating. Don’t let that seep into your work time. This doesn’t need to be very long. It might only be a minute or so. But take the time to mentally transition from whatever happened on your way to work to what you need to do now that you’re there.
Plan Your Day
Right away – before you check your email – plan out what you want to get done that day. Prioritize tasks based on timeline and importance. Be honest with yourself. If it’s something that can wait till tomorrow, then put it on tomorrow’s list. Make sure you can fully devote yourself to the work that needs to be done each day. Don’t let the magnitude of your to-do list take away from your ability to perform at your best. Schedule your day so you have enough time to thoroughly and excellently do what is needed. Take all the time you need to adequately plan, but you could certainly do this in about five minutes.
Design Your Workspace
Do you need coffee? Do you work better with headphones in? Is your desk too cluttered? Take a few minutes and make sure that your space is ready for you to do your best work. Again, this doesn’t have to take very long. I’m not a coffee drinker, so I like to keep this to about two minutes. I make sure I have water and a clear space next to my computer in case I have an ad or blog post to proof. If you need coffee in the morning, give yourself some time to put on a new pot. This will look different for everyone. The bottom line is that you want to have your space ready before you dive into work.
Another Gear of Productivity
There you have it – three simple steps. You can do all three in about 10 minutes. If it takes you 15, no big deal. The point is that this practice won’t take up much of your time, but it might have a huge impact. If your mind is clear, you know what you need to get done, and your space is ready for work, you can be remarkably more productive.
I certainly notice a BIG difference on the days when I don’t put these habits into practice. I might check email first, or I may dive into work when I’m still thinking about that jerk that cut me off on the highway. Either way, I’m letting my day control me and not the other way around.
So, before you check your inbox, I’d encourage you to give these tips a try. You might find another gear you never even knew you had in you!
This post is a part of our month-long focus on helping you plan for success. As you look towards 2017, don’t hesitate to contact us if you have questions about your marketing communications planning. We’ve been down the road before, and we can help put you on the map.
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