Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc., CMGA

Helping Independent Insurance Agents Since 1996

How People Waste the Most Productive 2 Hours of Their Day

Published on October 6, 2016

What’s the first thing you do every morning? If you check your smart phone or computer within 15 minutes of waking up, then you’re not alone. A study from IDC Research found that 80% of people between the ages of 18-44 check their mobile devices within those first 15 minutes of awake time.

I once had a roommate who would check her blackberry every morning as soon as she woke up, before she even got out of bed. I didn’t have a smart phone yet at the time, so this struck me as odd. I remember thinking, “I never want to be that attached to my phone.”

But fast-forward several years and I am indeed that person. These stats and studies seem to be onto something I’ve been feeling for a while now. They show that when we dive right into notifications and updates and emails first thing in the morning, it derails what otherwise could be our most productive two hours of the day.  What’s worse is if we get a negative comment or email first thing in the day, it can cause our already side-tracked productivity to spiral downward into a wasted morning, or perhaps even a wasted day.

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photo credit: gothick_matt via photopin cc

Dan Ariely, a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions, recently stated in a Reddit AMA that one of the biggest mistakes people make in time management is our probability of spending the most productive hours of our day on things that don’t require high cognitive capacity (like emails and 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.

What he and studies suggest is the best approach for high productivity is to steer clear of emails, social media, and any other tasks that require low cognitive capacity and to focus the first hours of the day on our hardest tasks. Do you need to do some visionary project development for your insurance agency? Do you need to review risks and create plans for how to reach your clientele? Do you need to brainstorm ideas for advertising the products you want to create a niche market for? These are all great things to do with those first, most productive hours of the day.

So put that smart phone away until after coffee break, and let’s see what we can accomplish!

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Abram Interstate Insurance Services, Inc. is a California wholesale insurance broker (CMGA) that has licensing and expertise to place business in both admitted and non-admitted markets for personal lines insurance and commercial lines insurance in California and surrounding areas.

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