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12 Mistakes You Might be Making in the First 10 Minutes of the Workday


May. 15, 2019 Entrepreneur

If you show up late to the office or get sucked into an overflowing inbox, you could easily get thrown off and have a hard time focusing for the rest of the day.

We did some research and rounded up 12 common traps that can ensnare you within the first 10 minutes of your workday. Read on to find out how to avoid those pitfalls and set yourself up for success.

You’re showing up late to work.

You could be sabotaging your workday before it even begins.

A study cited by The Huffington Post found that bosses tend to see employees who come in later as less conscientious and give them lower performance ratings — even if those employees leave later, too.

It’s not fair, but it’s the current reality. So try to get to the office as early as possible.

You forget to say hi to your coworkers.

You can set a pleasant tone for yourself and others around you by taking a few minutes to catch up with your colleagues.

If you’re a leader and you don’t say “hi” to your team, your seeming lack of people skills could undercut your technical competence, according to Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of ” Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.”

Even if you aren’t a manager, making a silent beeline for your desk could make you appear less approachable to colleagues.

You drink coffee too early in the morning.

If you’re not the kind of person who downs a cup right when you wake up, you probably grab it as soon as you get into the office.

But research suggests that the best time to drink coffee is at 10 am. That’s because the stress hormone cortisol, which regulates energy, generally peaks between 8 and 9 am. When you drink coffee during that time, the body starts producing less cortisol and depends more on caffeine.

Once your cortisol levels start declining after 9:30 am, you might really need that caffeine boost.

You start your day answering every single email.

Once you settle into your chair, it’s tempting to dive directly into the slew of messages that arrived overnight.

But according to Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “You Can’t Be Serious! Putting Humor to Work,” the first 10 minutes of the workday should be spent quickly scanning and prioritizing emails. That way you can see if there’s anything urgent and create a plan for answering the rest later.

“Checking email can become one of those tasks that make it feel like you are accomplishing things, wherein the danger is you are not attending to priority-action items, and you’re letting others set your agenda,” Kerr told Business Insider.

You forget to make a tentative schedule before launching into your work.

Before you buckle down, Taylor suggests making sure you have an idea of where the day is headed — that includes writing down your top priorities and must-dos for the day and reviewing your calendar.

Check to see what events you may have planned and whether you need to prepare for any calls or conferences. Otherwise, you could be caught off guard when you get a 10-minute reminder for a team meeting and you’re smack in the middle of writing a project proposal.

Click Read More for other tips.

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