12 things the best employees do before noon
Employees are a company’s greatest asset – they’re your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company’s mission. Anne M. Mulcahy
Self-professed “morning people” have reported feeling happier and healthier than those who stay up late, which researchers believe could be because society caters to a morning person’s schedule. Ultimately those who like rising with the sun have been found to be the most high-functioning, productive and conscious employees in the office!
This week Happiness Weekly discovers what the best employees check off their to-do list before lunch.
1. Make a to-do list before you leave the office at the end of the day. Many swear by having a written to-do list, but not everyone agrees on when you need to compose it. According to Andrew Jensen, a business efficiency consultant, the opportune time to plan a day’s tasks is the night before. “Some people like to write the to-do schedule in the morning, but then they might have already lost office time writing it out,” he says. Therefore it is more productive compiling your to-do list the night before … and it helps you to sleep better!
2. Get a full night’s rest. Speaking of sleeping better … lack of sleep affects your concentration level, and therefore, your productivity. Whatever your gold standard is for a “good night’s rest,” strive to meet it every work night. Most health experts advise getting a minimum eight hours sleep each night.
3. Don’t hit snooze. “Anyone can make morning their most productive time. It could be that for the entire week, you set your alarm clock a little bit earlier, and you get out of bed on the first alarm. It may be a pain at first, but eventually you’ll get to the point where you’re getting your seven to eight hours of sleep at night, you’re waking up with all your energy, and accomplishing the things around the house you need to before going to the office,” Jensen says.
4. Exercise every day. Schedule your Pilates class for the a.m. instead of after work. “Exercise improves mood and energy levels,” Jensen says. “There have also been studies on employees who exercised before work or during the work day. Those employees have been found to have better time-management skills, and an improved mental sharpness.” The same studies found these employees are also more patient with their peers.
5. Practice a morning ritual. Jensen recommends instituting a morning routine such as meditating, reading the newspaper, surfing the internet or just enjoying a coffee alone and enjoying some quiet time by yourself.
6. Eat breakfast. Food provides the fuel you’ll need to concentrate, and breakfast is particularly important since it recharges you after you’ve fasted all night. Try munching on something light and healthy in the morning, and avoid processed carbs that could zap your energy.
7. Arrive at the office on time. If you’re not a new employee, then you’ve already figured out the length of your average commute. Allot a safe amount of time to make it to work on schedule – there’s no excuse to be late!
8. Check in with your manager and/or employees. Good workers set priorities that align with their company’s goals, and they’re transparent about their progress.
9. Tackle the big projects first. Since you made your to-do list the night before, you can dive right into work upon arriving in the office. If you’re a morning person and your mind is most productive early in the day, jump straight into the harder tasks while you’re at your mental peak and do the meaningless tasks towards the end of the day.
10. Avoid morning meetings. If you have any influence over the time a meeting is scheduled, arrange for it to be in the afternoon. “You should use your prime skills during the prime time of the day and mornings are the most productive time,” Jensen says, also noting that an employer who schedules morning meetings could rob his or her employees of their peak performance at a cost to the company. The exception to this, is if your meeting is the most important task of the day. “Sometimes you have to schedule a crucial meeting, in which case you’d want to plan for a time when employees are at their peak.”
11. Reserve time to follow up on messages. Discern between mindless email/voicemail checking and conducting important business. Instead of checking your emails regularly, set a schedule to check and respond to your emails in increments – if you set it for the beginning of each hour, it will ensure clients and colleagues receive a prompt response.
12. Take a mid-morning break. Get up and stretch your legs or stay seated and indulge in a little Internet surfing. “You should take 10-minute breaks occasionally,” he says. “Companies that ban any kind of social media, texting, or personal calls can find it will ultimately be detrimental to them. Those small practices increase employee satisfaction.” Just be sure not to abuse the privilege. “The best employees respect their employer’s time, and the worst-performing employees will find a way to waste time even if the company forbids personal Internet use,” Jensen explains.
Which of these simple tips are you going to adopt to become a better employee?
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