This Is How You Should Use the First 3 Hours of Your Day

Updated 09/05/17
morning routine
Nicole Franzen

While most companies are yet to get the memo, we're slowly starting to accept that a shorter workweek may actually equate to increased performance. The most productive countries can prove it—people in Luxemburg work six hours per day and make more money on average than people with longer workweeks. So, if you accept the challenge to decrease office hours and increase productivity, how should you go about it?

Psychologist Ron Friedman suggests the answer lies in harnessing the first three hours of your day. "Typically, we have a window of about three hours where we're really, really focused. We're able to have some strong contributions in terms of planning, in terms of thinking, in terms of speaking well," he told The Harvard Business Review last year. Inc. even suggests that honing the first three hours could help you minimize your workweek by up to 20 hoursReady to cut down your hours and supercharge productivity? Here's how:

1. Try the 90-90-1 challenge: For the next 90 days, spend the first 90 minutes of your workday on your number one priority. This should be a top-level task, which will stop you from procrastinating by checking email or social media. Write it in a notebook to track your progress.

2. Eat lean protein: Donald Layman, professor emeritus of nutrition at the University of Illinois, says eating at least one ounce of protein for breakfast will help sustain blood sugar levels in the morning and stop food-related distractions.

3. Listen to brain music: Psychologist Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis recommends listening to music on repeat to improve focus. Research suggests classical music is the best option to boost brain function

Have you tried one of these tactics? Let us know if it decreased your workweek. 

This post was originally published on August 31, 2016, and has since been updated.

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