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How to Start Your Work Day and Set Yourself Up for the Day

Working from home

 

In our frantic modern world, work can feel like yet another overwhelming call on our attention. But by implementing a successful morning routine, it’s possible to set a better pattern for your working day. Here are some top tips to change those scatty first thing scrambles into an efficient and effective start.

1 – The day begins at home  

If you have managed to get plenty of sleep, eaten a good breakfast, and perhaps carved out time for a morning work out, your day is already off to a good start. The commute and the emails will feel far more manageable with a well organized home life.

2 –  Dress for success

Plan outfits for the week ahead of time, making sure the washing is done and you don’t have a wardrobe panic before heading out of the door. Even if you work from home, dressing for work can be a powerful way to delineate work time and get your head into work mode.

3 – Plan to be early  

If you plan your commute to arrive ten or fifteen minutes before you actually need to be at your desk, you allow yourself breathing room for unexpected delays, and are much less likely to arrive feeling stressed before you’ve even begun. If you are working from home, still show yourself the respect of turning up on time. You’ll give yourself a sense of achievement with which to start the day.

4 – Take a deep breath

Rather than launch straight in to a frenzy of demands on your time, take a moment to reflect. Many top CEOs recommend ten minutes of meditation before starting to look at emails and receive calls. Certainly allowing yourself the time to switch clearly from home mode to work mode can increase your productivity hugely, setting the right tone for your day ahead.

5 – Set yourself up

Make sure you are comfortable. Is your workspace meeting your needs? Can you maintain your workflow efficiently? If there’s always something getting in your way, or you struggle to find things, perhaps it’s time for a tidy up. Consider investing in a better desk, a chair with lumbar support, or a rollerball mouse – it’s important to keep yourself healthy and comfortable.

 

 

6 – Start afresh  

Treat each day like a clean blank slate. If yesterday everything was falling apart, try not to bring it with you into today. Today is another chance to get it right.

7 – Don’t be distracted

Turn off your phone, or put it in a drawer. Checking your notifications is the ultimate time waster; and as soon as you feel like you’ve been wasting time, you’ve set your day on a downward spiral. Likewise, don’t keep checking your email. Perhaps set a timer, to break down your time into efficient sections where you concentrate on a single task – half an hour work, then a brief email check etc. Don’t forget to schedule breaks too!  

8 – Get organized  

The beginning of the day is the best time to assess your priorities. Make and update to-do lists, rather than getting weighed down in your overloaded inbox. Get the most urgent tasks done first. It’s important to distinguish your priorities, and what is achievable within the parameters of your day, rather than set yourself an unachievable and never ending list.

9 – Be present

Not everyone is a morning person. But if you don’t make eye contact with colleagues, or forget to say hello, it may set an unpleasant tone for the rest of the day. Start with a smile – connecting with your co-workers can only ease the tasks of the day ahead.

10 – Don’t lose your momentum

Having started the day so well, it’s important that you remember to plan a mid morning break, to give you a chance to process everything you have achieved so far, and carry that energy forwards into the rest of the day.   

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