If you're like me, your first hour of work is usually not very productive. Typically, I spend it drinking a cup of coffee (or two) and trying to gather my thoughts for the day. Although that's not always a bad way to get started, it's certainly not the best way.
According to Fast Company, that first hour is sort of like homeroom when you were in high school. It's typically used to catch up, get things together and get ready for the day.
However, there are other ways to spend that hour that can actually help you become more productive. Here are some of their ideas:
Don't check your email for the first hour. Most of us start our day by checking our email. The thing is, it can bog you down, leaving your mind too cluttered to really focus and prepare for your day. In fact, there's even a book about it called Never Check Email In The Morning. Instead, use that time to complete one project or work, uninterrupted, at one task.
Use it to meditate or get excited about your job. There are many self-help books that advocate spending at least 10 minutes meditating in the morning. It's a great time to be present and focus on gratitude. This practice can set the pace for the rest of your day and can put you in the right frame of mind to achieve. There are even guided motivational exercises that you can do in the morning to help you get your "head in the game."
Do the thing you don't want to do. Fast Company calls it "choosing your frog," and it can help nip procrastination in the bud. Before you end your workday, write down the one thing you least want to do tomorrow. Then, in the morning, tackle the job and get it out of the way. We all have things that we don't want to do, but choosing the frog first thing is a good habit to get into.
Set aside "customer service" time. If you know that you aren't someone who is able to work very hard first thing, use that hour to touch base with your customers, your contacts or with other tasks that focus on the human side of your job. Maybe you need to call a colleague or accept an invitation to a networking event. Using the hour to follow up with people and socialize, you can get focused on work without having to sustain concentration.
How do you spend your first hour of work? Please share your thoughts in the comments.