How to… maximise your productivity in the mornings

Save time and work more efficiently with these tips for productivity from our expert Sarah Marin

Man writing a list in a notebook

Write a to-do list for the next working day to increase productivity

Write a to-do list for the next day

Having a good morning actually relies on what you do the day before. End each day the same way: before you finish work, have a close look at your diary and draw up a checklist of the tasks you need to get on with in the morning. That way you’ll arrive at work knowing exactly what to do, all set for a positive and productive day.

Plan a contingency hour

Stay flexible. If you’re in a customer-facing role, unforeseen circumstances that have an impact on your customers – delays or bad weather, for instance – might mean you find yourself diving straight into a string of unexpected tasks when you arrive at work. By setting aside an hour of contingency time each morning, you’ll be able to get on with your planned tasks even if you face a crisis. And, if there’s no crisis, you’ve gained that hour to get ahead.

Stay offline (unless it’s essential)

After switching on your computer, only open the programs you need for work. It might be tempting to go straight for the web browser – but does it help your work? Those 45 minutes spent browsing the internet could be put to better use.

Keep in touch

A daily catch-up with your colleagues is a great way of seeing how everyone’s work is going, and maintaining those all-important social bonds. Doing this in the morning ensures everyone’s on the same page for the coming hours. When you’re busy, it’s all too easy to forget the wider context in which you’re working. See our tips for hosting a successful meeting, and even consider taking the meeting outside.

Avoid starting the morning with admin

Set tiresome tasks aside for quieter periods; prioritising work is important, and it should start from the moment you arrive at the office.

Focus on your goals

To avoid distractions, keep your goals at the front of your mind from the moment you get up. We often waste time not because there’s nothing to do, but because we’re not thinking properly. 

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