How long does it take you to settle-in when you get to work? How long do you wait to clock out at the end of the day?
Most people tend to have minimal production during the first and last 15 minutes of their work day. With an intentional schedule, you can change that. Here are some ways you can improve your productivity during these key times.
1) Prioritize Your Day.
Instead of checking your email, create a list of things that need to get done during the day. Place each item in an order of importance, so you can get the most critical tasks completed when you have the most energy.
2) Prepare Yourself.
It can be tempting to dive right into a big day of work to get it done. Take a moment, center yourself, and think about the big picture. Take a couple of deep breaths. Then get to work. Spending just 3 minutes preparing yourself can lower your overall stress levels.
3) Drink Some Water.
Instead of drinking coffee right away, have a glass of water. It will improve your hydration, which can result in a net productivity increase for the day.
4) Do the Simple Stuff Last.
Instead of starting a major project in the last moments of the work day, take care of your simple clerical tasks instead. Send out a quick email. Get some filing done. This is the best time to do those administrative tasks everyone hates doing.
5) Clean Up.
Instead of leaving your workspace disorganized and dirty, take some time to clean it. Wipe down your computer monitor. Clean your keyboard with electronics wipes. Throw trash away. Get your desk ready for tomorrow.
6) Take Notes.
Instead of rushing out the door with a to-do list for tomorrow, jot down some notes about what is worrying you. It is better to put down ideas somewhere before leaving work than dealing with the anxiety of what lies ahead the next day.
7) Talk with Your Team.
Check-in with your team when you get to work. Check-in with them before you leave. Talk about something positive instead of the usual office gossip or politics. 1 in 4 workers feels more motivated when they discuss how to be successful with their team.
Killing time at the beginning and ending of each work day wastes time. Use these ideas and you will be able to maximize the impact you have, even during the first and last minutes of each work day.