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The first hour of your workday – the most crucial?

Some say that the first few hours of the workday can have a major effect on productivity for the rest of the day, and can set the tone for your day and beyond.

For many people, the first hour of their workday involves booting up their computer, hovering around the coffeemaker, and catching up with co-workers. However, according to a recent article in Fast Company, the first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for the likes of Craig Newmark of Craigslist and David Karp of Tumblr.

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark works on customer service first thing in the morning. He responds to user complaints and believes that focusing on customer service first thing in the morning helps keep him rooted in reality.

David Karp “tries” not to check his email until about 9:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. He believes that if something urgent comes up in the morning, someone will call or text him.

Let’s not forget how the late Steve Jobs took an extremely serious approach to his mornings. He told the graduating class at Stanford to make sure every day they are doing what they want to do.


“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: ‘If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.’ It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today’” And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something,” he said.

The one aspect those three men have in common is they all established some sort of routine at the beginning of their workdays. A routine helps you have greater control of not only that day, but also managing your career.

As the manager, your team members look to you to set the pace and provide a role model for hard work and quality. The most effective leaders show they are energetic and enthusiastic about their work.

Whether you want to tackle your most difficult project first thing in the morning or you prefer to ease into work, here are some tips to help you establish a routine:

  • Approach each day with the same sense of discovery that you had when you were a child.

 

  • Decide on a clear-cut, long-range goal for yourself. Then establish what you will need to do, and what attitudes you will need to have in order to achieve it.
  • Put an action step for your development goals on your daily “to do” list and make it the number-one priority. Do one thing every day, even if it is a small step, to move toward your goals.

 

 

  • View your strengths as development opportunities. Typically, your greatest successes will come from leveraging your strengths. Broaden and improve your strengths by finding new ways to use these skills, by teaching them to others, and by pursuing assignments that stretch your skills even farther.
  • Believe that you have the power to make a difference, and accept the responsibility of trying.

 

 

  • If you are overcommitted and expect to be great at everything, focus your energy on the most important areas and allow yourself to be average in less important matters.
  • Exercise regularly, eat well, get enough sleep, laugh often – all of these impact your energy level.

 

Tell us, have you adopted a daily routine for your workday mornings?

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