Fiona Smith Columnist

Fiona writes on workplace issues, including management, psychology, workplace design, human resources and recruitment. She is a former Work Space editor at The Australian Financial Review and has also covered property, technology, architecture and general news.

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60 minutes that can supercharge your day

Published 31 October 2012 06:05, Updated 10 April 2013 07:32

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60 minutes that can supercharge your day

People who have the opportunity to breakfast at leisure live on another planet but they also can come to work well prepared for a day of productivity.

What do you do with the first hour of your day? Well, apparently, some people walk the dog, others read the papers in a cafe, then there are those who make lists and the odd person who peruses the funeral notices.

According to a discussion on one of my LinkedIn groups, people are doing all sorts of life-affirming things before they get down to a day’s work – even exercise and meditation.

My contribution to the discussion was politely ignored. Perhaps because the others sensed my irritation: “Check emails, tweet blog, make breakfast for the kids, hound them into getting dressed, hide from them in the shower, ring husband to find out where he put things, make sure school lunches are ordered, teeth brushed, get myself ready for work, find food for recess and fill water bottles, check to see if there are any school events on and make sure everything they need is in their bags, clean up after the kids, check time, panic, run around finding shoes, do my daughter’s hair, find the neighbour’s cat to put outside, write instructions for the nanny and put dinner out for defrosting, shoo everyone outside to walk to the bus.”

We all lead such different lives. I’m not sure how long it takes for children to take care of themselves, but I believe it is around the age of 25 these days.

For me, people who have the opportunity to breakfast at leisure live on another planet. A nice one. And they are joined by those who read for pleasure and enjoy unbroken sleep every night.

These people can come to work well prepared for a day of productivity. It would be interesting to know what a difference that makes.

Once we get to work, those of us who are harried might be able to even the score if we concentrate on setting off on the right foot, according to Fast Company and Forbes magazines. They have some tips from successful business people, management authors and motivational speakers.

  1. Don’t check your email for the first hour – Tumblr founder David Karp.
  2. Exercise, motivational incantations and remembering to be grateful – motivational speaker Tony Robbins.
  3. Do the hardest stuff first, then nothing else looks so bad – author Brian Tracy.
  4. Make your important calls and emails first thing in the morning to give people a chance to get back to you – Lyn Taylor, author of T ame Your Workplace Tyrant.
  5. Treat every morning as a fresh day and tap into what is happening now – David Shindler, author of Learning to Leap.
  6. Make a to-do list, or update yesterday’s – Michael Kerr, business speaker.
  7. Start with a clean desk – Alexandra Levit, the author of Blind Spots: The 10 Business Myths You Can’t Afford to Believe on Your New Path to Success.