For many of us, being productive all day at work is simply something that doesn’t come naturally. After all, being entertained by social media, cute cat videos and other distractions is much more fun than filling out expense reports. But, as a manager or business owner, if you aren’t productive, there’s a good chance your employees won’t see a need to be, either.
Being productive day in and day out can be exhausting. However, it doesn’t have to be. Too often, “productivity” is equated to “focusing on the tasks at hand for 8 hours straight with no break.” Rather, productivity should be equated to moving your business forward and being more profitable. Usually, that mindset is created within the first 10 minutes of walking in the door. Here are just a few morning habits of highly productive people.
1. Be Early to Have Time for Stillness
If your duties for the day begin at 8:30, try to be in the door by 8. That gives you time to get a cup of coffee and relax for a while before the craziness of the day begins. Reflect on what has happened over the past few days — what went wrong, what went right — and evaluate what you need to do today. You can set your agenda and make sure you aren’t leaving anything off your list. Arriving early also gives you time to settle in and get comfortable before the phones start ringing and customers start coming in the door.
2. Prepare Your Mind and Body
You may consider yourself a messy person. But studies have shown that a clean desk boosts productivity and creativity. When your mind isn’t subconsciously focusing on clutter, it can instead focus on what’s important. Similarly, taking time in the morning to stand and stretch helps get your blood flowing and clears the mind before a day of sedentary sitting. Stretching or even walking around the office also gives you time to reflect on upcoming tasks and, at least in your mind, prioritize your day.
3. Meet Your Team Everyday
If you arrive early, at least by a few minutes, you will be in the office to greet your team. Being the smiling face that welcomes your employees into the office every day, or at least most days, creates a good mood even before work really begins. In addition, it gives you a chance to gauge how your employees feel that day, and what is causing stress. Tackling bad moods and high stress levels first thing in the morning means there is less cause for productivity to be dragged down later on.
4. Prioritize Positivity
Every business has slumps. Customers may be upset for one reason or another, and your employees have to deal with the brunt of those issues. You dwelling on small annoyances, like that jerk who cut you off in traffic this morning or your kids refusing to go to bed last night, doesn’t help. Block out that negativity. Moreover, take time to smile and laugh, even if it’s just at a dumb joke someone emailed to you. By giving off an air of positivity, you can boost the mood of your entire office, which in turns increases productivity. After all, people are more willing to get through difficult and even tedious tasks if they aren’t aggravated by the very thought of being at work.
Of course, for these changes to stick, you have to make a habit of it. That means planning for them daily, understanding why you’re doing it and engaging in other techniques to make your new habits stick. But once these habits are firmly in place, you should see an increase in both your own productivity and, in turn, the productivity of your employees.