Optimize Your Morning Productivity

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Personal Productivity for Lawyers

This quick-start guide to Getting Things Done and Inbox Zero also includes two shortcuts for those who want the benefits of GTD without having to learn the system.

For the most part, the practice of law does not lend itself to starting your day at noon and working well into the evening—working in the morning is a given. Morning person or not, most lawyers need to accomplish things before noon.

Along with these suggestions, here are some tips for getting going in the morning.

Finish what you started

At the end of the day, it is too easy to put off a quick task and say “I’ll do it first thing tomorrow.” Most of those tasks can be taken care in a matter of minutes, but the allure of leaving is too great. The next time you try and rush out the door, take care of those one or two tasks, instead of leaving them for the next morning.

When you walk into your office, you will not immediately be bogged down by yesterday’s leftovers.

Eat something—it’s good for you

Back in the day, I ate a muffin for breakfast. I also spent the majority of my morning sleeping through classes or being otherwise unproductive.

Nowadays, breakfast is probably my largest meal and it makes a huge difference. Your brain needs that energy in the morning, so eat something more than a sugar-filled scone or a piece of toast. Try a bagel, some fruit, and some protein.

If you drink coffee, drink it before you get to the office

The magical effects of coffee do not happen instantly. It usually takes fifteen minutes or so for coffee to kick in. If you wander into your office and slurp your morning coffee while you read the online news, you may be in the office for an hour before actually doing anything.

How do I know? Because I know someone who does that occasionally and their name rhymes with Candle Cider. On the days when I drink coffee before I come in, the caffeine has kicked in by the time I get to my desk and I am ready to roll.

By the way, check out the picture—who uses a spoon to eat a piece of bread?

(Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tma/2438467223)

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