Combine long hours, ample opportunities for digital and social media distraction, as well as poor time management, and the result is slipping work performance and a lot of wasted effort.
In a recent Entrepreneur post, James Reinhart, co-founder of thredUp.com, gives five ways leaders and employees can optimize their morning routines to maintain high levels of productivity all day long.
Stay Productive: Seven Minutes of Exercise
Reihart advocates including just seven minutes of exercise first thing in the morning. Seven minutes is short enough “that it won’t impact the rest of your morning routine and long enough to shake off any residual sluggishness.”
He recommends the 7-Minute Workout. For the more technologically minded, there is a free app available to get you started and monitor your progress.
Start Your Day Out Green
Don’t underestimate the impact nutrition has on being productive, say Reinhart. For a morning lift, try a green smoothie. “I go quick and easy, blending: One apple, one banana, one orange, a handful of spinach, half a cucumber, any juice on hand, a few cubes of ice and some flax seed. It’s cheap, easy, and energizing.”
Choose Three Wins for the Day
Prioritize your task list and identify the top three things you’d like to accomplish before lunch in order to make the day a success. It’s important to recognize that while every day may not always go as planned, setting clear goals at the beginning of each work day helps move the needle in a positive direction.
Block Your Calendar
One of the most common people make in their work lives is failing to turn to-do lists into effective project lists with firm deadlines, says Reinhart. For each block, add a few extra hours into your time estimates to accommodate any emergencies — just in case.
For projects that involve multiple steps or require a commitment of more than a single day, Reinhart recommends breaking them down into small, easily manageable chunks. Use one block of time to plan and subsequent blocks to execute.
“This simple method will hold you accountable and immediately help you refocus on the tasks you’ve prioritized when you do get distracted.”
Power Up After Lunch
To refocus yourself after lunch, dedicate fifteen minutes of “thinking time” to assess your task list and re-prioritize as necessary. Use this time to think about how your morning went. Were you productive? Are you ahead of schedule? Behind schedule?
“You’ll find these fifteen minutes help identify how you got derailed, what’s distracting you, and help you discover a rhythm that works.”
What morning rituals would you add?