Things to Do and NOT to Do Before Noon

There is a great article titled, “12 Things Killer Employees Do Before Noon.”

The article was sent to us by our vacationing boss....first thing in the morning.  So after a few eye rolls, we opened and read it and found out something pretty shocking.  No where on the list does it say you need to check and answer all of your emails and messages before you get out of bed or that you need to text back everyone even when on the go such as driving or in the middle of a meeting or family dinner.  This article actually points out some great tips on putting yourself first so you can function at your best the rest of the day. As a technology company we have seen first hand how attached we are to our gadgets and devices and the pressure some of us may feel to always be working and available online, around the clock.  It is nice to see an article that gets back to some basics and points out some key ways to take careful of number 1 first to be better all around.  Great advice.

Some of the following tips we added our own thoughts to after a quick group discussion.  Take a read of the original tips and our thoughts. Ask you coworkers what they think. Your feedback is always appreciated too.  Just no making excuses for not having any “me time.”


1. They make a work to-do list the day before. Many swear by having a written to-do list, but not everyone agrees on when you need to compose it. According to Andrew Jensen, a business efficiency consultant with Sozo Firm in Shrewsbury, Pa., the opportune time to plan a day’s tasks is the night before. “Some people like to do the to-do schedule in the morning, but then they might have already lost office time writing it out,” he says. “It helps to do that to-do schedule the night before. It also will help you sleep better.”

We say:  do the list at the end of your day when things are fresh in your mind and before you forget anything when you go home and have a ton of other things such as family and kids to tend to.

2. They get a full night’s rest. Speaking of sleeping better … lack of sleep affects your concentration level, and therefore, your productivity. Whatever your gold standard is for a “good night’s rest,” strive to meet it every work night. Most health experts advise getting a minimum eight hours of shut-eye each night.

We say: Agree 100%.  Google and find out how many hours you really need.  Most women for example in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s need a full 9 hours of sleep.  Put priority on it and it may even help you loose weight!

3. They avoid hitting snooze. Petitioning for nine more minutes, then nine more, then another nine is a slippery slope that leads to falling back asleep and falling behind on your morning prep. Ultimately it also leads to lateness. “Anyone can be made into a morning person,” Jensen says. “Anyone can make morning their most productive time. It could be that for the entire week, you set your alarm clock a little bit earlier, and you get out of bed on the first alarm. It may be a pain at first, but eventually you’ll get to the point where you’re getting your seven to eight hours of sleep at night, you’re waking up with all your energy, and accomplishing the things around the house you need to before going to the office.”

We say:  studies show more heart attacks happen first thing in the morning and gradually allowing  your body to wake up is much better then suddenly shooting out of bed and putting the heart into overdrive without warning.

4. They exercise. Schedule your Pilates class for the a.m. instead of after work. “Exercise improves mood and energy levels,” Jensen says. Not only that, but “there have been studies done on employees who’ve exercised before work or during the work day. Those employees have been found to have better time-management skills, and an improved mental sharpness. … Those same studies found these workers are more patient with their peers.”

We say: Agree but getting sleep and eating breakfast first thing in the morning are first priorities and if you have time to work out in the morning – great.  It is also a great de-stresser for the end of the day and for some people, a workout and shower can help them sleep better.  Example – a local mom of two goes running with her two kids to the park or while they are on bikes and enjoy family exercise hours in the evenings.

5. They practice a morning ritual. Jensen also recommends instituting a morning routine aside from your exercise routine. Whether you opt to meditate, read the newspaper, or surf the Web, Jensen says “it’s important to have that quiet time with just you.”

We say:  Agree 100%

6. They eat breakfast. Food provides the fuel you’ll need to concentrate, and breakfast is particularly important since it recharges you after you’ve fasted all night. Try munching on something light and healthy in the morning, and avoid processed carbs that could zap your energy.

We say:  Agreed 100%

7. They arrive at the office on time. This one is obvious, right? Getting a full night’s rest and keeping your sticky fingers off the snooze button should make No. 7 a cakewalk. If you’re not a new employee, then you’ve already figured out the length of your average commute. Allot a safe amount of time to make it to work on schedule.

We say:  Agree 100% and even 10 minutes early is enough to get you set up and going for a clean start at the top of the hour.

8. They check in with their boss and/or employees. We all know the cliche about the whole only being as good as the sum of its parts. In other words, if your closest work associates aren’t productive, then neither are you. Good workers set priorities that align with their company’s goals, and they’re transparent about their progress.

We say:  Agree 100%

9. They tackle the big projects first. You can dive right into work upon arriving in the office, since you made your to-do list the night before. And Jensen suggests starting with the hardest tasks. “Don’t jump into meaningless projects when you’re at your mental peak for the day,” he says.

We say:  Interesting! Agree 100%

10. They avoid morning meetings. If you have any say on meeting times, schedule them in the afternoon. “You should use your prime skills during the prime time of the day. I believe that mornings are the most productive time,” Jensen says, also noting that an employer who schedules morning meetings could rob his or her employees of their peak performance, and ultimately cost the company.

The exception to this, he adds, is if your meeting is the most important task of the day. “Sometimes you have to schedule a crucial meeting, or a client meeting, in which case you’d want to plan for a time when employees are at their peak.”

We say:  Interesting! Agree 100%

11. They allot time for following up on messages. Discern between mindless email/voicemail checking and conducting important business. Jensen’s company, Sozo Firm, advises clients that checking their inbox every couple of minutes takes time away from important tasks. Instead, set a schedule to check and respond to email in increments. Consider doing so at the top of each hour, to ensure that clients and colleagues receive prompt responses from you.

We say:  Interesting! Agree 100%

12. They take a mid-morning break. Get up and stretch your legs. Or stay seated and indulge in a little Internet surfing. According to Jensen, it’s actually good to zone out on Facebook and Twitter or send a personal text message or two. “You should take 10-minute breaks occasionally,” he says. “Companies that ban any kind of Facebook [use], texting, or personal calls can find it will be detrimental. Those practices increase employee satisfaction.”

Just be sure not to abuse the privilege. “The best employees will respect their employer’s time, and the worst-performing employees will find a way to waste time even if the company forbids personal Internet use,” Jensen explains.

We say:  Interesting! Agree 100%

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