Increasing productivity is the goal of many people, so you need to pay special attention to how you start your school day. According to scientists, the key is how you spend the first 10 minutes of the day. Do you make coffee? Watch YouTube videos? Check the news feed? Or do you have no free time at all? Your actions in the first 10 minutes can make or ruin the day. Well, to be more productive, let’s talk about what actions you shouldn’t take.
1. Drink coffee between 8 and 10 am
Studies have shown that drinking coffee at this time is a bad idea to cheer you up. It is from 8 to 10 in the morning that the stress hormone is at its peak and caffeine will only raise its level in your body.
Expert tip: Only drink coffee from 10 am to 12 am, or 2 pm to 5 pm. This is the time when cortisol levels are significantly lower.
2. Get started when your brain is busy with other things
Productivity expert David Allen says that thinking about a lot of information at the same time can play a trick on you. You will think that everything is under control when in fact it is not.
Expert tip: Write down all the ideas and tasks for the day in a notebook. These notes will free your head from unnecessary thoughts, and you will feel less pressure to get everything done at once. Just keep this list in a place where you can refer back to it and accomplish each item one by one.
3. The first step is to check your inbox
Aaditya (Teacher at Go4prep) says that after checking your email, you need about 25 minutes to get ready for work. Therefore, you should not look at correspondence at a time when you should be organizing your school day. This will negatively affect your productivity.
Expert tip: Don’t open your mailbox in the first 30 minutes of a school day. Turn off notifications in your phone settings. This way they won’t distract you and you can concentrate on your work.
4. Skip that online class
Were you up too late? Feeling unprepared or unwell? Before you think about staying in bed and skipping class, read the syllabus! It will hold important information about participation points, graded attendance, and absence procedures. If your teacher keeps track of attendance and it counts toward your grade, do not skip class. Those extra points may make a difference in getting an A or a B at the end.
Expert Tips: Skipping class isn’t always bad if you have a valid reason to skip. But double-check the class schedule to confirm that there are no exams, mandatory presentations, or assignments due on the day you need to skip.
5. Sit in a chair
Collaborative research between Harvard and Columbia Universities has shown that when you are standing or moving, it is easier for you to get motivated. Just a little bit of exercise will improve blood circulation and increase metabolism, which boots energy and improves focus.
Expert tip: Walk around the room, get on the treadmill, or stand at your desk for the first 10 minutes of the start of your morning, studying tasks and planning your day. Here’s another good reason exercise should be part of your productivity routine: it helps reduce anxiety and depression, both of which hamper workflow.
6. Keep the curtains drawn
In a study by a well-known medical journal, it is said that morning daylight has a beneficial effect on the body. It is able to lift your mood, promote awakening, and improve metabolism.
Expert tip: If your desk is near a window, open curtains or blinds every morning so you will receive a natural boost of energy. And if you cannot influence the location of your study place, it is worth purchasing a SAD lamp.
7. Independently choose random deadlines for group projects
A study by the Psychological Science Association concluded that when working on group projects, you need to set firm deadlines and notify your teammates so that you are all on the same schedule, and only then will they be effective.
Expert tip: Get in the habit of using tools like any.do or IDoneThis. This will allow you to share to-do lists, deadlines, and progress with your classmates and coworkers.
8. Log in to the browser by personal mail
Webrate statistics show that 36% of workers spend about an hour a day checking their personal email and social networks during work time. Students do the same thing during school time. Don’t interrupt your productivity with this bad habit.
Expert tip: Temporarily block access to entertainment sites and social media so you can stay focused. Use the Nanny extension for Google Chrome, LeechBlock for Firefox, Stayfocused for Safari, and FocalFilter for Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.
9. Do several things at the same time
The study, published in the journal Experimental Economics, has uncovered the whole truth about the impact of multitasking on productivity. And it showed the extremely negative consequences of this approach. People who worked on several tasks at the same time performed much worse than those who performed them in turn.
Expert tip: Plan your day ahead of time to make it as productive as possible. Allocate 40 minutes to each task, and between them do unscheduled or ongoing tasks that take 20 minutes of working time.
What mistakes did you make in the first 10 minutes of your day? Think about what you can fix to be more productive. If you follow these tips, you will have more energy to complete tasks and an effective plan to help you complete them.
P.S. You may have noticed that wearing pajamas isn’t on the list of no-nos. For some people, the psychological effects of wearing lounge clothes may seem to hamper productivity. However, there is not one single study that indicates working in pajamas has any impact whatsoever on your productivity. None. Zero. Nada. Just don’t get caught in your pjs on a Zoom call, because other people will think you’re lazy!