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How to Spend Your First and Last Moments at Work

How important is the first 20 minutes of your work day? How you begin and end each work day actually has a lot of leverage on your productivity levels and performance in the office. Entrepreneurs and business professionals can benefit from starting and ending their work day in a certain way to increase their productivity.

Simple tasks such as outlining your daily goals and accomplishing your biggest projects first will allow you to accomplish more than you thought possible. Making subtle changes to your office arrival can also have a positive impact on your work day.

For example, did you know that simply staying hydrated has been shown to increase productivity by 14%, but most professionals are not drinking enough water? Taking the initiative to set yourself up for success in the office will not only make you a better employee but also increase your work satisfaction.

When you start your work day, take a few minutes to settle in and focus on the tasks at hand. Meditate for a few moments to allow your brain to shift into work mode. Instead of downing a latte or cup of coffee, make an effort to drink more water so you’re hydrated and focused. Create a checklist of all the things you need to accomplish and tackle your biggest projects first. Write encouraging notes on your checklist so you stay motivated throughout the day.

How you leave the office is just as important as how you enter it. Save administrative tasks for the end of the day, such as checking emails and sending memos. This will allow you to get your top priorities accomplished before accepting requests from others.

Avoid diving into large projects at the end of the day so you leave work with a list full of to-dos in your head. Disable alerts and notifications once you step outside of the office. Allow yourself to disconnect and either pursue passions outside of work or focus on the people you care about most.

Fundera has created this helpful infographic detailing 10 ways to spend the first and last minutes of your work day in order to increase your overall performance and satisfaction in the workplace.

First 15 Minutes:

  • Prioritize with a list of tasks for the day in order of importance
  • Take a step back to think about the big picture
  • Drink a glass of water in order to stay hydrated
  • Check in with your team with some encouraging words
  • Start attacking your biggest challenges first while your mind is still fresh

Last 15 Minutes:

  • Wrap up small projects like sending emails and other administrative tasks
  • Organize your supplies for a fresh start so you can arrive at a clean desk tomorrow
  • Do a brain dump by making notes of things you wish to accomplish the next day
  • Check in with yourself by assessing your high and low moment of the day
  • Disconnect for the evening by muting work-related chats and emails

Check out the full infographic here and kickstart your workplace productivity:

About the author: Meredith is Editor-in-Chief at Fundera. Specializing in financial advice for small business owners, Meredith is a current and past contributor to Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, SCORE, AllBusiness and more.

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