How you feel when you first wake up in the morning can affect your mood for the entire day. Similarly, what you do in the first 10 minutes at work can affect your attitude and productivity for the rest of the workday—which can effect the rest of your week as well. Here are four things to do first thing at work every morning to make the day go by smoothly.
1. Say hello. A colleague once referred to me as the office golden retriever, because I’m adorable, always willing to help, and most of all, because I’m friendly. I’m friendly to everyone. Don’t get involved in office politics and don’t be the resident Debbie Downer. You don’t have to have lengthy conversations to connect with your coworkers. Just say good morning, ask how their weekend was, smile, and make your way to your own desk. They’ll remember the kindness and it’s such a small effort on your part that there’s no reason not to at least pretend to be sunny.
2. Clear your desk. A cluttered workspace is often the symptom of a cluttered mind, and vice versa. Instead of working out this chicken-or-the-egg dilemma, just clear your desk. Those expired coupons for the lunch joint down the street? Toss. Meeting notes? Email them to yourself, then toss the paper. How many pens do you actually use out of the 22 in your canister?
3. Make a to-do list. Divide into urgent, important, and menial. Start with your most difficult tasks, then save the easy stuff for the end of the day when you’re relaxed and won’t have as much brain power to work with.
4. Get inspired. Whether it’s a life-affirming quote from your page-a-day calendar, a quick YouTube clip of Ron Swanson, or a two-minute meditation, getting in a happy, healthy mindset will improve your outlook and productivity all day.