Off to a slow start at work? It's likely the same for everyone else in your office (bosses included). So by the time you set foot in the office after waking up super early to beat the traffic jam, you'll probably still be in your own world for at least the first 30 minutes of the workday. And the way you spend that first half-hour can make all the difference on how the rest of your workday is going to go.

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So what can you do with those precious 30 minutes? Do you spring into action and start bustling away like a maniac on the computer? Or do you settle in and start to slowly draw momentum? Below are a couple of suggestions:
Read the news (20 minutes)
Reading the news makes us sharper, more competent professionals. It allows us to engage senior co-workers in weightier conversations, improves our vocabulary, and exposes us to topics we might not deal with everyday at our own jobs.

Pick your favorite 2-3 websites and see what's happening in the world, in America, and in your local community. You'll probably skim most of the articles but actually take time to read one or two all the way to the end. Have several opinion columnists bookmarked and check to see if they have anything new. Or you can read an editorial from your local paper.

Review the past 24-hours of email (5 min)

Checking over email ensures we are on top of our game at all times. It's so easy to lose track of an important e-mail conversation over the course of a day. Look back through your most recent e-mails, and follow up on anything you missed.

Make a quick checklist for the day ahead (5 min)

And a daily checklist reminds us of everything still to come. Leave the list somewhere you can see it throughout the day. And then take great pride in crossing stuff out all day long.
via Lifehacker