I don't know anyone who wishes she was more productive out there, do you?
Ok, maybe not. Research shows that as the day goes on, we lose two things: self control and energy. This loss of self control and energy causes us to become less productive as the day goes on, and makes our morning hours essential to a good work day. How to maximize our efficacy during the morning is therefore important to our overall productivity. Here is a list of healthy morning habits that we found help us get the most done in the morning. Give it a try and see what works for you!
1. Start With Exercise--
Research shows that people who start the day with as little as 10 minutes of exercise have a more positive outlook and are more productive. Neurotransmitters released during exercise allow you to keep your brain focused and calm as you tackle tasks of the day.
2. Set Goals For the Day--
People who set very specific and concrete goals for the day feel more confident and in control of the day. Break big tasks into manageable segments (in other words, rather than saying "finish that article I have to read" say "read 5 pages of the article by ten without breaking, then break for stretching and a water refill.")
3. Avoid Screens Until After Breakfast.
Try to focus first on setting your own goals for the day before diving into the world of email-- where other people will have requests of you. Before getting side tracked, sit down, hydrate, and figure out your morning routine.
4. Attack Tasks That Require High Levels of Concentration First-- Then Turn to Email.
Tasks that require the most concentration and are most challanging should be tackled first. If you have a lot of these tasks, insist on finishing three of them before turning to your email.
5. Don't Multitask
According to research at Stanford University multitasking is less productive than doing a single thing at a time. In the morning, rushing around and trying to get a multitude of tasks done can be tempting and can feel productive-- but it isn't. What about those people who are talented in the field of multitasking? Well, according to Stanford-- they aren't.
"The Stanford researchers compared groups of people based on their tendency to multitask and their belief that it helps their performance. They found that heavy multitaskers (those who multitask a lot and feel that it boosts their performance) were actually worse at multitasking than those who like to do a single thing at a time. The frequent multitaskers performed worse because they had more trouble organizing their thoughts and filtering out irrelevant information, and they were slower at switching from one task to another. Ouch!"