That new job feeling… everything is strange and novel, and there’s a lot to learn. Much of what goes on in those first few days is about figuring out what’s expected of you and how to fit your needs and tasks with what’s going on with your colleagues. But while every job is different, there are some decent working principles to apply to most roles. One of those is working out how to master your morning schedule.
What you do during that first 10 minutes at work sets the tone for the whole day. Get it right and things should stay upbeat, productive, and ordered. Get it wrong and you may find yourself unnecessarily stressed and chasing deadlines.
The first thing to consider is your body. You’re not just a brain or a productivity machine, you’re a delicate organism which responds to stimuli in ways you can’t always control. This is why it’s important to carefully manage how you eat, drink, sit, and rest. Try to get plenty of daylight – sit near a window if you can. Avoid coffee before 10am, even if tempted, since it can actually just make you more stressed. This is due to the regulation of cortisol in your body throughout the day. Save that caffeine until after 10am, or after lunch.
Also think about your relationship to the internet. Of course, we don’t all get to choose how and when we use the web or email in our jobs. But if you have some freedom as to how you structure your day, try to stay offline for the first hour or so. This way, you don’t get dragged into the mire of emails, social media, or research, and can instead spend the time setting out your ideas on paper, scheduling, and being creative.
And you may want to impress you new boss with your productivity and ability to multitask, but guess what? The two don’t go hand in hand. You’ll get a lot more done, and stay a lot calmer, if you can organise your tasks into sequence and do one thing at a time. That first task should be scheduling: that way you always know where you are and how you’re doing.
Ready to get started? Don’t forget to check through this new morning productivity infographic before you form those bad habits!
How did you master your morning schedule? Leave your advice in the comments below.