Have breakfast before work
Don’t wait until you get to the office to reach for your morning yogurt. Sitting in front of the computer with food and coffee make you more likely to surf blogs and social media instead of jumping to important tasks, says Laura Stack, productivity speaker and author of Doing the Right Things Right: How the Effective Executive Spends Time. “You can’t really work when you’ve got a spoon in hand and are constantly reaching for something,” she says. “You get this laidback feeling, and it’s not as productive as having both hands on the keyboard.” Don’t miss these 18 tips for a productive, stress-free morning.
Make the right to-do list
Most people write to-do lists with easy tasks on top so they can feel good about crossing those items off, says Charles Duhigg, New York Times bestselling author of Smarter Better Faster: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business. But this system helps self-esteem, not productivity. Instead, organize your list with long-term goals on top to remind you of what’s most important, and daily goals on the bottom to plan how you’ll reach them. Daily tasks should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a timetable—what Duhigg calls SMART goals. Being realistic about the time you have and how long a task will take can help ensure you accomplish what you plan to.