Photo via Howard Lebowitz on Flickr.

Photo via Howard Lebowitz on Flickr.

What’s the first thing you do when you get out of bed each morning? Most likely, you’re part of the 80 percent of 18- to 44-year-olds who check their smartphones. A study from IDC Research reveals that we check our mobile devices within 15 minutes of waking up each morning.

The problem with jumping right into our inboxes and notifications is that it steers your morning off-course. Worse, a negative email can slip you into a reactionary state and eventually you’ll enter a downward spiral of lost productivity.

In a recent Reddit AMA, Dan Ariely, professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, says that one of the biggest 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 [first two] hours [of the day], most of us would be much more successful in accomplishing what we truly want…Generally people are most productive in the morning. The two hours after becoming fully awake are likely to be the best.

Don’t check your email in the morning. When you wake up, stay clear of tasks that require low cognitive capacity. Instead, use those two golden hours to do your most difficult task or tackle a passion project


  • Rudiano

    Amen to that! It requires discipline but 2 hours a day taken from our phones and invested on any project becomes 10 hours a week…then 40 hours in a month! A whole work week.Too big to ignore.

    • luciahill

      @I just g0t ,paid <-$7500 by working part time off of a lap-top b­­­­­­­­y G­­­­­­­­­­­­oog­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­l­­­­­e­­­­­­­­­­­­­.I­ a­­m m­­a­­k­­­­i­n­­­g a go­­od sa­­la­­ry ­­­­­­­­­fr­­­om ­­­­­­­­­h­­.o­­m­e ­­­­­­­­­$­­5­5­0­0­­­­­­­­­-­­­­­­­­­$­­7000/w­­­­­e­e­k..L­­­ast Thursday I got a brand new BM­­­W since getting a check for $647­­­4 this – 4 weeks past. I beg­­­an this 8-months ago and imm­­­ediately was bringing home at lea­­­st $97 pesdr hour. I wo­­­rk thr­­­ough this link, go to tech tab for work det­­­ail­­­


      Here ­­­­­­­­­is ­­­­­­­­­I ­­­­­­­­­started—–http://GoogleProjects/Get/Position/now



      –>(go on TECH tab of this page))

  • Isaiah Jackson


    Here is what I do when I wake up in the morning.

    Which happens to be 3-4 hours before I have to be

    First thing I do every single morning is set goals
    and I set them as if I already achieved them.

    Then I write out my tasks for the day, that will
    get me closer to achieving those goals.

    After that I mediate on them (can’t go wrong
    with clearing the mind)

    As soon as I’m done meditating I go to work
    on those tasks.

    You would be surprised how much you can get
    done in 2-4 hours.

    Great article by the way.

    -Isaiah Jackson.

  • chorgox

    good for you guys…
    But it may work for you, but not for everyone
    I become more productive as time goes by,
    at the end of the day im working a lot faster and smarter than the morning
    and in the morning I even feel stupid of how long time I take doing stuff
    before you ask I find the same pattern in different jobs that I had in the past.
    I wake up at the same time and Im not going to bed that late so is not about “tiredness”

  • Joe Buhlig

    Spot on! Getting a negative email or seeing the highlights from friends on social media in the morning can ruin an entire day.

  • rajju

    I will try this from tomorrow.

  • ls

    …doesn’t anyone enjoy the morning sky, whether it is stars or sunshine…or listen to the early birdsong…or breathe in the coffee or breakfast aromas? getting more accomplished isn’t always getting more out of life…why not enjoy ‘being’ for a few moments before ‘becoming’ all these things everyone is boasting about…

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