What Not to Do if You Want to Stay Productive All Day


The first minutes of the morning are a very important time on which the results of the whole day may depend.

1. Being late

When you arrive to work late, you create a negative impression of yourself in your mind and in the eyes of your colleagues and supervisors.

Studies show that managers rate the quality of work of employees who are regularly late lower than those who arrive on time, even if the former actually produce better results.

So don’t ruin your image by coming to work early.

2. Being uncooperative.

Socializing is an important part of almost any profession. So take half a minute to say hello to your colleagues. By doing so, you’ll maintain communication, which can be very important during busy times at work.

This is especially true for managers. You need to know what problems and desires the team has. And if your subordinates think you are unfriendly, some of the information will slip away.

3. Drinking Coffee.

Many people pour themselves a coffee as soon as they get to work. It’s an understandable desire, because a lot of time and energy can be taken up with write paper in the morning, and coffee helps to get it done. But according to scientists, it’s not healthy to do that.

The thing is that from about 8 to 9 a.m. the energy regulating hormone cortisol is produced in the human body. If you drink coffee at that time, your body will decrease its production of cortisol and begin to rely too much on caffeine.

People who drink an invigorating beverage before 9 a.m. become less energetic and more dependent on it. It’s better to wait and have a cup at 10 or 11 o’clock.

4. Responding to emails.

It happens that immediately after turning on the work computer, we check our mail and start answering emails that have accumulated overnight. According to business speaker Michael Kerr, you shouldn’t do that. Your day is probably scheduled, and not all of the emails you’re going to answer are important.

It’s better to spend that time strategically checking your mail. Mark the most important emails you really need to respond to, and do it later – when you have some free time in your schedule.

5. Starting work without a plan.

We always have a rough idea of what we need to get done in a day, but that’s not enough to be effective. There is always the risk of falling into procrastination or spending too much time on a low-priority task.

Check your calendar and prepare an action plan. Sort things by importance, set deadlines, and don’t forget time to rest: that way your day will be as productive as possible.

6. Do the easiest things first.

The amount of mental energy of the person decreases in the course of the day. So don’t waste your high-productivity time on small tasks, or you’ll have no energy left when you get to the difficult ones.

Do the most difficult things first, and leave the simple ones for later. That way you’ll maintain your efficiency.

7. Do several tasks at once.

Doing several things at once is a very attractive idea. After all, you can complete a bunch of tasks at once in less time. However, according to scientists, multitasking only hurts most people.

On average, the productivity of a person who takes on several tasks at once drops by 40%. So if you’re interested in quality results, focus on one task at a time.

8. Bumping into negativity.

In the morning, even the most resilient people are vulnerable. We’re not yet fully awake, our strength is low, and our ability to cope with adversity is diminished. In such a state, it is easy to start thinking about bad things: how much work remains to be done, what loans need to be paid, what problems await at home.

These thoughts waste energy, but they do not make you feel better. Instead of spoiling your mood for the whole day, put away negative thoughts in a separate “box” in your head, to address them at more appropriate moments.

9. Set up meetings.

Calling colleagues to a meeting first thing in the morning seems logical: that way the whole team will know what’s to be worked on and how projects are progressing. But according to writer Laura Vanderkam, the first hours of the day should be devoted to work that requires high concentration: writing, creating designs and so on.

All because immediately after resting, the brain is set to focus. Provided you’ve had a good night’s sleep, of course.

10. Set too many goals for the day.

Ambitious goals are fine, but you need to adequately perceive your capabilities. If you schedule a bunch of big things in the morning, by mid-day, when you realize that you can’t keep up with your busy schedule, you’ll start to feel intimidated. This will lead to procrastination and stress.

According to research, a person can focus on mental tasks for a maximum of 2-4 hours in one day. Take this into account when you make your schedule.

11. Get to work right away.

According to neurosurgeon Mark McLaughlin, the best way to avoid burnout, improve mental health and increase creativity is to meditate in the morning.

If you take the time to get your thoughts in order, you’ll find it easier to get to work later. At least just sit in silence for 10 minutes at the beginning of the day: it will improve your health and increase your efficiency.

12: Avoid Natural Light.

Scientists have found that bright natural light in the morning improves your mood, prevents depression and helps you cope with stress.

So go to the window more often at the beginning of the day. Or at least get a special lamp for light therapy.