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Written by Rolf BaxRolf Bax

9 productivity mistakes at the beginning of your work day

7 min read
9 productivity mistakes at the beginning of your work day
Are you guilty of wasting some of the most crucial minutes of our day checking social media or grabbing a coffee?

Studies show that mornings count when it comes to being successful. But are you guilty of wasting some of the most crucial minutes of our day checking social media or grabbing a coffee?

No matter how tempting it might be to ease into the day at your own pace, productivity experts say that those first 10 minutes are crucial for setting us up for a successful day. Michael Kerr, international business speaker, says, “The first 10 minutes can also set the tone and your attitude for the day — so it’s imperative that you start it off right, with a clean slate.”

Not all of the mistakes we all make in the first 10 minutes of the day are caused by procrastination. In fact getting on with our work in the wrong way can have a negative impact on our productivity. Checking your work emails first thing is a common mistake. New York University’s Adam Alter says that it takes an average of 25 minutes to get back to being most productive after you’ve checked your emails.

Expert tip

With the rise of remote jobs, finding your grove and staying productive has become an even bigger challenge. For specific tips related to managing your time while working at home, check out our remote job guide.

Instead, use the first 10 minutes of your day to plan your day, and get your body and mind in the right place. Avoid sitting down in your chair straight away, and make sure you’re close to natural light. These little changes can make a big impact on how productive you will be for the rest of your day.

Here are the nine biggest mistakes you’re making in the first 10 minutes of your work day, and some simple tips to help you get back on track.

9 productivity mistakes at the beginning of your work day

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Resources

Kokalitcheva, K. (2015). Early Morning is Actually the Worst Time to Drink Coffee. time.com

Allen, D. (2001). Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-free Productivity (2 ed.). Penguin Books

Yates, E. (2017). Most work emails are opened within 6 seconds — here's how it affects your productivity.businessinsider.com

Rogelberg, S.G. Scott, C. Kello, J. (2007). The Science and Fiction of Meetings. unecc.edu

Tracy, B. (2001). Eat That Frog! 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time (2 ed.) Berrett-Koehler Publishers

Chignell, B. (2018). Five common workplace distractions – and how to handle them. ciphr.com

McGregor, J. (2014). The best (and worst) times to do things at work. washingtonpost.com

Carney, D.R., Cuddy, A.J.C, Yap, A.J. (2010). Power Posing Brief Nonverbal Displays Affect Neuroendocrine Levels and Risk Tolerance.sagepub.com

Wickelgren, I (2011). 8 Ways To Forget Your Troubles.scientificamerican.com

Boubekri, M. Cheung, I.N et al. (2014). Impact of Windows and Daylight Exposure on Overall Health and Sleep Quality of Office Workers: A Case-Control Pilot Study. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Ariely. D. Wertenbroch, K. (2002). Procrastination, Deadlines, and Performance: Self-Control by Precommitment. sagepub.com

Williams, R. (2014). Internet fuels procrastination and lowers productivity. telegraph.co.uk

Buser, T. Peter, N. (2012). Multitasking. springer.com

Kelly, K. (2014). Is The Internet Stealing Your Productivity? Ukfast.co.uk

Smith, J. Gillett, R. (2016) 18 things successful people do during the first 10 minutes of the workday independent.co.uk

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