How you handle the first 10 minutes of your workday can largely determine how productive and effective you’ll be the rest of the day.
“Getting off on the right foot isn’t just important with relationships. It’s important with the start of any workday, as well — particularly busy ones,” says Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work.”
“The first 10 minutes can also set the tone and your attitude for the day — so it’s imperative that you start it off right, with a clean slate,” he says.
Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” agrees: “Those brief moments can predict your all-important mindset because they’re the first impression of your day ahead.”
The first few minutes at the office can be the most stressful because there’s a level of anxiety about what you may face: A sudden onslaught of urgent emails; last-minute crises or meetings; a call to stop by the boss’s office; a cranky coworker, and so on. It takes greater self-awareness, a positive mindset, and self-training each morning to counter what feels like negative gravity pulling you down as you face overwhelming demands.
Kerr says that successful people tend to thrive on routine and habits: “Creating consistent habits is largely what makes them successful. And a key time for habit-forming practices is at the start of the day.”
Here are 19 things the most successful people do in the first 10 minutes of their workday:
No. 1. They show up on time.
The very first thing they do is show up … on time.
When you rush to work or show up late, you’ll probably start the morning in a state of stress, which can affect the rest of your day.
Wake up on time — don’t hit snooze! — eat a healthy breakfast, and give yourself enough time to get to work. Try to keep your mornings as calm and stress-free as possible.
No. 2. They reflect.
Achieving your best results requires you to reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going, says Taylor:
Successful people build in quiet time and solitude to do this first thing. They ask themselves: “What did I accomplish toward my goals so far this week — or last week?” “What is the status of my current project?” “What do I need to accomplish today in light of this?”
No. 3. They take a moment to pause and be present.
“This may sound very ‘Buddha-like,’ but it’s important,” Kerr says.
“If you arrive and walk into a tumultuous situation with phones ringing and people clambering to see you, you run the risk of starting off on the wrong foot, getting derailed both emotionally and time-wise, and letting other people set the agenda for you,” he says.
Centering yourself and being fully present will help make sure you manage the day ahead, rather than allowing it to manage you.