Use The First 30 Minutes Of Your Workday To Maximise Productivity

No one likes 9am. 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 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, the rest of the day can be more productive.

Photo by liseykina (Shutterstock)

Here's the checklist.

Read the news (20 minutes)

Pick your favourite 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.

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.

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! Maximising 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.

9am never looked so good.

The Best Way to Spend the First 30 Minutes of your Workday [News To Live By]

Danny Rubin is a media consultant based in Washington DC. He writes News To Live By, a blog that uses the day's headlines to explore how we can improve personally and professionally. He tweets at @NewsToLiveBy.


    I wish the first thirty minutes of my day started at 9am....

    Is this article a troll? Spend 20 minutes reading the news? What kind of 'professional' pissfarts around for 20 minutes when arriving at work? We have people like this at my work - they are widely reviled for their lack of productivity. Does your employer know that the first 20 minutes of your paid work is generating no usable product / service? Oh wait, sorry - just noted that the author is a 'consultant'.

    my problem is sitting down for 20 minutes with the news turns into 2 hours later

    (this is when I'm studying at home, though).

    Well Neil, each workplace is different and some don't feel the need to whip their employees for reading a newspaper or browsing lifehacker. Some are actually comfortable with the concept that as long as their workers do their assigned work, their assigned hours, when and how they do that is not so important - and nor is their habit of reading the football fixtures for the weekend.

    Some employees actually prefer that kind of environment - even 'professional' ones.

    Damn, i read this at 9.31am

      Well maybe some workplaces tolerate their employees starting the day by goofing off reading the newspaper, but that hardly makes it a productivity tool. I wonder how many of the self-employed get to start the day this way.

    I thought this article was going to be about doing some actual work as soon as you walk in the door, while everyone else is actually screwing around doing just this.

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