Taking 15 Minutes To Improve Your Work Day!

When I got my first part time job my parents offered me this piece of advice: 

Just because your shift starts at 9:00, doesn't mean you show up at 9:00. Arrive 15 minutes early to get ready so that you can hit the ground running the moment the workday starts.

This lesson is one I carry with me to this day. It energizes me to be one of the first people in the office, and to streamline the first part of my work day so that I am my most efficient self all day long!

Today I want to share with you my process of taking 15 minutes at the start of the work day to make your WHOLE day better!

Minutes 1-3: Boot up your computer, put your coat away and grab a coffee.

First things first is to get yourself settled. Stop by your desk and hit the power button then promptly hang up your coat and grab some java. If you're one of the first people in the office there won't be a line for the coffee maker (or kettle!) so you can get your fix quick and get back to your desk.

If you prefer water, get that! It's nice to have something to drink while you get your day organized.

Minute 4: Review your daily calendar

After getting settled, my next step is always to review my calendar and write down what meetings I have that day. Working in consulting means I can spend more than half my day on calls, so I find it's helpful to have them all written down at the top of my daily task list to help organize my day.

It's easier to chunk your time for tasks when you know how many interruptions you can expect! And yes, this seriously only takes a minute!

Minute 5-7: List your known tasks (and rank them!)

I'm a big fan of the bullet journal (check out this link for a great video on how to make your own!) So after writing down my meetings, I write out all the main bucket tasks I have for the day, and star those that are most important. 

By doing this I never run in to "what should I do next" moments, I always have my list on hand. I also like to have a few admin-related tasks ranked at the bottom that I can dedicate any free time towards! 

Write it down, it's way more likely to get done.

Minute 9-14: Get annoying correspondence out of the way

Prioritize correspondence early in the morning.

By replying to/sending emails early in the day, or responding to your voicemail, you are not only being professional and proactive but you're more likely to hear a response by the end of the day.

I KNOW, talking to people and emailing people is the WORST. In a world where we spend almost all of our time communicating there is still something about formal communications that is just so cumbersome. 

But I promise that if you make a point of doing it early in the morning you will be much happier than if you send your email at 3:30 pm and don't hear back before the end of the day.

Minute 15: Breathe, greet your coworkers, pick music, or grab another coffee!

Now it's 8:59 and your other coworkers are starting to roll in. They're running off to meetings before they've had time to check their emails or grab a coffee, meanwhile you are ready and raring to take on the day!

Take a second to catch up with your coworkers, or grab another coffee before you dig into work. Close your eyes and mentally prepare for your first task, or find a great podcast that you can listen to while you get stuff done.

Whether you work in an office or at home, taking an extra 15 minutes before the start of the workday to get yourself settled and organized can make a huge difference to your success as a worker. While these particular tips may apply largely to office jobs, all careers have tasks that can be taken care of in the 15 minutes before the "official" start of the work day, regardless of what time you start. 

Making sure you take this small amount of time to be prepared reflects well upon you as an employee, and will show in the quality of work you bring to the table each and every day. If you have clients, this preparedness will shine through, and if you're an entrepreneur it will energize you for your tasks!

So I want to know! Do you like to show up to work early or right on time? How do you like to kick start your day to be your MOST effective self? let me know in the comments down below!

PS: If you liked this post, check out these posts!