The Best Way to Spend the First 30 Minutes of Your Workday

No one likes 9 am. It’s early, we’re tired and we still have hours of work ahead of us.

But we’re not the only ones who get off to a slow start. Everyone in the office — bosses included — is in their own world for the first 30 minutes of the workday. Rarely does anyone disturb us or give us a huge task that early in the morning.

No, those precious 30 minutes are all ours. And if we use them properly, we can gain an edge on the competition (who is probably still half asleep).

Here’s the checklist.

1. Read the news (20 min): Pick your favorite 2-3 websites and see what’s happening in the world, in America and in your local community. You’ll probably skim most of the articles but actually take time to read one or two all the way to the end.

Have several opinion columnists bookmarked and check to see if they have anything new. Or you can read an editorial from your local paper. If you want to stay up on politics, go to www.realclearpolitics.com. Great resource for opinion columns.

2. Review the past 24-hours of email (5 min): It’s so easy to lose track of an important e-mail conversation over the course of a day. Look back through your most recent e-mails, and follow up on anything you missed.

3. Make a quick checklist for the day ahead (5 min): Leave the list somewhere you can see it throughout the day. And then take great pride in crossing stuff out all day long.

So there you have it. Maximizing your productivity in the first 30 minutes of the day.

Reading the news makes us sharper, more competent professionals. It allows us to engage senior co-workers in weightier conversations, improves our vocabulary and exposes us to topics we might not deal with everyday at our own jobs.

Checking over email ensures we are on top of our game at all times. Nothing important slips through the cracks.

And a daily checklist reminds us of everything still to come.

All of that in just 30 minutes! (It sounds like an informercial, I know.)

So while everyone else in the office is rousing from sleep, you are off and running.

And 9 am never looked so good.

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