My morning routine at work starts with a cup (or two) of Joe and perusing my email inbox. And it seems I’m in good company. According to an Accountemps survey, 58 percent of chief financial officers (CFOs) said reading email is the first thing they do at the office. Working on a project was a distant second (13 percent), and 11 percent start their morning routine by creating a to-do list. (See infographic below.)
Most office workers start their day by checking email to see if something urgent has come up. For CFOs, reading the company’s ‘morning news’ is vital because a matter may require their immediate attention. But spending too much time reading and responding to routine emails can hamper efficiency. So how can you kick-start your day and stay focused on the highest-priority assignments?
Five tips for turbocharging your morning routine.
- Pinpoint your top priorities. Take 15 minutes to identify your most critical and time-sensitive tasks. Creating a prioritized to-do list will help you start off on the right track —and can serve as a road map to stay focused and productive throughout the day. Devising a game plan on Monday mornings is particularly important to map out key tasks for the rest of your workweek.
- Don’t let email own you. Be disciplined and allot yourself a set amount of time to review your inbox in the morning, then move on. Also, don’t feel compelled to open and respond to every message the instant it arrives.
- Be mindful of digital distractions. Much like your email inbox, the Internet is full ofpotential diversions. Don’t get caught in this trap! Click with care and keep your eye on the clock. In most cases, you shouldn’t spend more than a few minutes of your morning routine scanning news headlines or checking social media.
- Focus on one thing at a time. Every professional needs to multitask to some degree. But continuously tackling several tasks simultaneously is mentally taxing and can lead to costly mistakes. When working on a project, particularly a high-profile one, give it your full attention.
- Declutter daily. Scrambling to find files due to poor organization wastes time and creates unnecessary stress. Save yourself the headache by investing a few minutes at the end of the day to tidy up your physical workspace and digital desktop. Doing so will enable you to get off to a swift start the following morning.
What’s your morning routine? Do you have other tips for diving into your workday? Please share!