I recently published a blog post with a list of things to do at the end of every workday to stay productive. Today’s post is going to be a bit of a spin-off where I’m sharing things to do at the start of every workday.
For me, the start of my workday tends to set the tone for the entire day. That means that if I start by being productive and ready to tackle the day, I’m likely to be super productive all day! But if I come to work feeling sluggish and unmotivated, I may not bounce out of that. To make sure you stay productive all day long, do these five things at the start of every work day for a more productive day!
Things to Do at the Start of Every Workday for a Productive Day
There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I may make a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information, see my full disclosure policy here.
Start On a Good Note
This one is relatively vague because it will look different for everyone. For some, it might mean getting up early so they can enjoy a cup of coffee and some reading or quiet time in the morning. For others, it might mean having picked out your outfit and packed your lunch the night before so you can get up and get out the door as quickly as possible.
For most of us though, I’m guessing it doesn’t look like hitting snooze half a dozen times and arriving to work late and feeling disheveled. That is definitely starting on a poor note for me, and I try to avoid it at all costs.
I read and LOVED the book The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. I listened to a podcast ages ago where Hal was interviewed and talked about the book and just finally got around to reading it. I’ve noticed a huge difference both in the way I feel in the morning (I’m enjoying my mornings a lot more) and in my level of productivity throughout the day since I started implementing the tips in this book.
If you’re interested in improving your mornings (and really your entire day) by creating a morning ritual, then I seriously recommend you read The Miracle Morning!
Know what helps you start your workday on a good note and have a productive day, and be sure to work that into your everyday routine.
Organize Your To-Do List
I always have a to-do list on my desk so I know what I need to get through every day. I try to write my to-do list the evening before, right before I leave work for the day. However first thing in the morning I like to reevaluate to make sure I haven’t forgotten anything. This also gives me the opportunity to mentally map out my day and figure out what I’m going to tackle first.
In my job, things definitely pop up throughout the day, so my to-do list is constantly changing. However, starting the day with at least some semblance of structure makes it easier to tackle everything!
Scan Through Your Emails
I’ve read a lot of productivity articles that suggest not checking your inbox first thing in the morning. And while I agree that waking up and checking your email before you get out of bed may not be the best for a stress-free morning, I can’t start my workday without first checking my email.
At the very least, scan your inbox for anything that is a priority and needs to be handled right away. Doing that leaves me with a clearer mind as I jump into my next task. After that initial scan, I try not to check every new email as they come in, or I would spend half my day in my inbox.
Tackle the Priorities
In general, I recommend knowing when throughout the day you are most productive and saving your most labor-intensive tasks for that time. However, there is something to be said for getting important tasks done first thing in the morning. I usually make a note on my to-do list so I know which tasks are the priorities, and I like to get those out of the way earlier rather than later. That way if I don’t finish every single thing on my to-do list for the day, at least I know the most important tasks have been taken care of.
Another reason I like to tackle the most important tasks first is that since these are often bigger projects, a lot of times these are the ones I have to run by my boss or come back and finish another step later. Getting Step 1 done with as soon as possible makes it more likely that I’ll get the whole project done in a timely manner.
Get in the Right Mindset
Starting off the work day in a bad mood can make for a super long work day! Sometimes it might just be a matter of waking up in a funk, or it may be something in your personal life that’s messing with your mood, or just anticipating a stressful day at work. Whatever it is that’s got you in the wrong mindset, try to pep yourself up.
It can be super hard to leave personal issues at home and not think about them at work, but it definitely makes for an easier work day. If you’re in a bad mood because you’re anticipating a stressful workday, instead try focusing on what you can do to make the day better. You may not have control over everything that goes on at work, but you can work on improving the things you do have control over, and you do have control over your mood!
I have found that the strategies in The Miracle Morning that I mentioned above help a lot with this! Since I’m starting my day with calming activities (meditation, yoga, journaling) I feel like I start the workday with a much more positive mindset!
As someone who works a full-time job AND a side hustle, I have to make the most of literally the entire day. For me, this means starting the day off on the right (and most productive) note. And honestly these tips are spot-on for ANYONE, regardless of what you do for a living! I would LOVE for you to leave me a comment and let me know what things you do first thing in the morning to make your days super productive!