Ever get to your desk in the morning, sit down to fiddle around in your email (and let’s face it, check Facebook and Twitter) only to look up and realize: Holy crap, it’s already time for lunch? If you feel like your morning constantly gets away from you, you’re not alone, according to Dan Ariely, the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University.
“One of the saddest mistakes in time management is the propensity of people to spend the two most productive hours of their day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity (like social media). If we could salvage those precious hours, most of us would be much more successful in accomplishing what we truly want,” he said, in a recent Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit. “Generally people are most productive in the morning. The two hours after becoming fully awake are likely to be the best.”
Instead of checking all your social media pages, pull out your to-do list and try tackling your hardest projects for the day the moment you sit down at your desk. Not a morning person? That’s okay. Have some coffee and dive in once the caffeine kicks in.
It’s intuitive advice, yet way too many of us don’t follow it. So let this be your reminder: tomorrow, save Facebook for later and zoom through your to-do list. This way, you spend less time rushing to finish things up at the end of the day, or worse, staying at your desk until late.