We've all had days when it just seems hard to get anything done. There might be a reason for that, though. Knowing how to start your day on the right foot can ensure your productivity is maxed out, so avoiding the pitfalls that can sap your strength and concentration is important.
According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American works an 8.8-hour day. However, out of this time, they only spend around three hours on highly productive tasks, so how can you boost these figures?
Here are some of the bad habits that you should aim to cut out of your daily routine if you want to get the most out of your working day and hit the ground running each morning:
1. Getting in late
Tardiness is never a good way to get off to a flyer, as being late in the morning can put you behind for the rest of the day. As such, it's important that you plan your journey into work to make sure you get there on time.
It's not just your own productivity that you could be hindering either, but your colleagues' too. When you roll in late to work, you're creating a distraction that can impact your team and those around you. Your lateness could be holding up key projects or decisions for others and, in general, it means you'll be starting the day on a sour note for all.
2. Skipping breakfast
As the old saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, when you're rushing to get to work, it can sometimes be tempting to skip it entirely and have an early lunch instead. This isn’t a good idea, though, and here's why.
Research published in the journal of Psychology and Behavior shows that eating a balanced breakfast ensures you have the necessary energy to be able to concentrate and work from the very start of the day. It kick starts your metabolism and helps wipe away the cobwebs from the night before.
3. Failing to plan ahead
Planning what you're going to be doing throughout the day might seem like a waste of time, but being organized from the outset means you could potentially get much more done. By strategically planning out what you'll be doing and when, you could potentially eliminate distractions and the urge to procrastinate.
Indeed, sales training and personal success guru Brian Tracy suggests that listing out all of your activities for the coming day could improve your levels of productivity by up to 25%.
"The more time you take to make a list of everything you have to do, in advance, the more effective and efficient you will be." – Brian Tracy
4. Dwelling on the negatives
A positive outlook can work wonders for your ability to face challenges and deal with stressful situations; so when you start the day with the wrong attitude, it's unsurprising you could be struggling to get things done.
Seeing potential negatives as opportunities to improve or to better showcase your talent can help to make you a more productive worker. It turns a bad situation on its head and can give you greater energy, promote creativity and even reduce stress.
5. Drinking too much coffee
Caffeine is great to get you up and going in the morning, but always be aware that you can overdo it. A cup of coffee can provide a welcome boost to your energy at the start of the day, but if you have too much, this can become a problem.
Drinking large amounts of coffee throughout the day can lead to an inability to get a restful night's sleep. This means you start the following day without the necessary energy to be as productive as you could be. Therefore, consider cutting down on the amount of caffeine you have in the evening and this could help you to wake up feeling bright and bushy tailed and ready to go in the morning.
6. Not acknowledging your coworkers
Finally, one of the keys to developing that positive attitude and maximizing your potential to get things done is the atmosphere in which you’re working. Nobody wants to work in a sterile, boring workplace where everyone's too busy to even say 'hello'.
By taking the time to say 'good morning' to your coworkers at the start of each day, you're setting the tone that you're approachable and conscientious. It can be a good stress reliever to catch up with others in your office and a great way to start the day with that all-important can-do attitude.