VP of Operations, IMPACT+, 7+ Years Of Digital Marketing Strategy, Operations/Project Management, & Process Creation Experience
January 13th, 2019
Drinking coffee between 8 and 10 am
Not "emptying your brain" before starting on your tasks
Checking your work email
Going straight into a meeting
Sitting down in your chair
Working away from natural light
Setting self-imposed deadlines for your daily tasks
Opening up a web browser
Starting several tasks at once
When your alarm goes off in the morning, what are the first few things you do?
For me, I check my email, explore Instagram, and make myself an iced coffee.
Unfortunately, it turns out that by doing all three of those things, I’m actually hindering my productivity for the entire day -- and I haven’t even left my house yet.
Today, more than ever, there are so many more distractions and ways to entertain your brain, we don’t even realize we’re making it harder for ourselves to get things done.
So, what’s the secret to being more productive?
Entrepreneur recently posted an infographic by resume.io that highlights nine mistakes you may be making in the first ten minutes of your day -- mistakes that can be detrimental to your to-do list.
Thankfully, however, they also give advice on how to rectify these issues and keep yourself on track.
9 Productivity Mistakes
Everyone knows mornings are an important part of each successful day, but are you guilty of doing some of the tasks mentioned below? If so, you might want to rethink how you spend your time.
1. Drinking Coffee Between 8 and 10 AM
I’m not going to lie, this one hurts a little bit.
As I mentioned before, I always start my day with coffee, and I don’t think I could ever get through a morning without it.
According to a study by the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, the cortisol levels in your body are at their peak between the hours of 8-10 AM, so drinking coffee during these hours actually acts as interference and can stress you out more than normal.
Instead, it is suggested that you drink your normal cup of coffee between 10 AM - 12 PM or 2 - 5 PM, when your cortisol levels are at their lowest.
2. Not “Emptying Your Brain” Before Starting On Your Tasks
This one may seem obvious, but so many people juggle too many things in their head.
If you’re keeping a “brain bank” of things on your mind, you risk forgetting, procrastinating, and becoming extremely overwhelmed.
Although you may feel more in control, productivity expert David Allen says you’re not.
Try keeping a notebook or something you can dump your thoughts into so that you can keep track of to-dos, ideas, concerns, or issues you need to deal with later. Then, you can dedicate your entire attention to the task at hand.
3. Checking Your Work Email
Did you know, according to New York University professor Adam Alter, after checking your email it takes you 25 minutes to get into the zone of maximum productivity?
That’s at all times of the day -- not just the morning.
Keep your email closed for at least the first half hour of your working day to stay focused and get off to a strong start.
Also, because most of us get email notifications on both our computer and our phone, you should attempt to minimize these by switching off what shows up on your phone while you’re focusing on work.
4. Going Straight Into a Meeting
I am extremely guilty of this one.
On average, we spend around 23 hours per week in meetings, and yet, we still tend to accept more, impromptu meetings that pop up.
If you use a digital calendar like Google Calendar, try blocking out “meeting-free” times so that you don’t get booked for those times, and you can focus on your work for the day.
5. Sitting Down in Your Chair
Have you noticed that more and more businesses are starting to adopt standing desks? It’s not just to follow a trend; studies by Harvard and Columbia Universities have found that people who stand versus sit feel more in control and that they have more power over their situations.
If you don’t have a standing desk, a 10-minute walk to start your day can also elicit the same effect.
Read more about these daily mistakes and dive into the other four in the infographic below.
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