Boss Lady

9 things you need to stop doing when you get to work


When you get to work in the morning, the temptation can be there to ease yourself into the working day – especially on a Monday. Grabbing a coffee – and a chat – and checking your personal emails and social media channels on the company dime feels harmless enough, because you’ll get down to work in a minute, right?

Unfortunately, those first ten minutes can play a crucial role in how productive you’ll be for the rest of the day, as Michael Kerr, international business speaker, explains: “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.”

To help you avoid wasting that precious time, here’s information from on the nine mistakes you might be making at the start of your work day:

1. Drinking coffee

It’s not just the interruption to your day that you are creating by getting the coffee, actually drinking it is a bad idea between 8am and 10am because it has a negative impact on the cortisol your body produces at that time. Basically, it’s adding to how stressed you feel at the start of the work day, which is the last thing you need.

2. Not clearing your head

Trying to tackle a new workload in the morning when your head is still full of thoughts you had last night or on the train isn’t the most productive way to try and achieve your daily goals. Having all of that on your mind might make you feel in control, but you need to write it all down and focus on today’s tasks.

3. Checking your work emails

It might seem like checking your work emails is a good way to start your day, but if you have definite goals to achieve, they can throw you off course and research shows that it can take 25 minutes for your mind to get focused again.

4. Having a meeting

Apparently we spent 23 hours a week in meetings and the last thing you need when you’ve only just arrive at the office, so we recommend blocking out the time in your calendar and only accepting those meetings you really can’t avoid.

5. Sitting down

When you’re faced with an overwhelming task list, standing up to plan how you will deal with it has been proven to make you feel more in control.

6. Working away from natural light

You might not get the choice of where you sit at work, but if you’re near a window, make sure the blinds are open to let the light in, because it can really boost your mood and alertness at a time when you need it the most.

7. Setting your own deadlines for tasks

Just like when you decide that you’ll go to the gym, keep it to yourself and then opt to eat out instead, we all know that we’re not always the strictest taskmasters for ourselves. So when you have an important task to achieve, instead of deciding when you’ll have it done by and giving yourself the leeway to let it drag on, share that deadline and your progress with your manager and team to keep yourself on track.

8. Browsing the web

Even if you go into Chrome or Firefox with the best of intentions, it’s very easy to get sidetracked and find yourself reading articles that are nothing to do with the work you’re meant to be doing. If this happens right at the start of the day, you might never get back on track, so add a browser extension that blocks out time-wasting websites while at work.

9. Trying to multitask

Everyone knows that women are better than men at multitasking, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a productive way to start your day. Studies have actually found that trying to do too many things at once is counter-productive and leads to worse results than just working sequentially.


About John Cole

John writes on behalf of NeoMam Studios. A digital nomad specializing in leadership, digital media, and personal growth topics, his passions include world cinema and biscuits. A native Englishman, he is always on the move, but can most commonly be spotted in the UK, Norway, and the Balkans.

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