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The 4 Things I Do The First 30 Minutes At Work

Imagine that what I’m saying is the truth, and it’s what I actually do, it’s not, but imagine that it is. Then, when you’re finished reading, answer the following question;

What’s the best way to start work in the morning?

Most days are awesome

No matter how bad the weather is, no matter what happens with my kids in the morning (they can be fairly grumpy) or what happens while walking to work (I walk 35 minutes; sometimes it’s raining, sometimes it’s snowing), the four things I do the first 30 minutes at work is what makes most days at work awesome.

Some days are bad

I remember a few days ago. I opened the door to my office, and I could smell that something was wrong. The person cleaning the offices had done it again, she had accidentally touched the button on my fridge, probably with her broom (yes, I have a small fridge in my office). The cheese smelled really bad. The fridge had been without electricity for the whole weekend. Ouch!

As I was looking at the cheese I noticed that the cables to my computers was in a mess. They were all over the floor, behind the fridge. She had accidentally removed them from the computer.

I’m not complaining, but it was a day when everything seemed to go wrong. I was soaking wet too, it was raining, and I didn’t wear a rain jacket.

The system of 4

Times like this, my system works great. But don’t get me wrong, I use the system every single day, no matter what. Routine, that’s what keeps me going in the morning.

I always start my day at work with four simple steps, and in this specific order:

Focus on energy

As soon as I get inside the office, I focus on a way to get more energy. If I’m cold, I will drink tea (I don’t drink coffee, but it will probably have the same effect). If I feel hungry, I’ll eat food. If I’m just thirsty, I’ll drink water, and if I don’t want anything, I’ll eat some fruit. I always start my days with a focus on energy.

Discover everything

The next thing I do is to clean, tidy up, and try to organize everything in the office, especially my papers. I do my best to find what’s important, and discover what I need in order to do my job. I want my desk to be neat, so I unclutter it.

Close my eyes

When my office is just the way I want it, I sit down in my chair, and I close my eyes. I dream, I’m living a fantasy and I’m far away, at my favorite spot in the whole world together with the people I love, and doing what I love to do. It’s an awesome feeling.


My eyes are still closed. I listen to the surroundings, then after a few minutes I open my eyes only to find one of my favorite songs (I’m using Spotify). This is a song that will help me get into the right mood, the right mood for working. A song that will give me another burst of much needed energy:

Risin’ up, back on the street
Did my time, took my chances
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a man and his will to survive

So many times, it happens too fast
You change your passion for glory
Don’t lose your grip on the dreams of the past
You must fight just to keep them alive

It’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the cream of the fight
Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he’s watchin’ us all in the eye of the tiger

I’m ready

When the song is finished, only then will I start working on my to-do list. I always start with the top priority, the most important task. I do it while I’m still singing “it’s the eye of the tiger, it’s the cream of the fight, risin’ up to the challenge of our rival.”

The system of 4 could be my daily routine, but it’s not… I don’t have a daily routine, I just work.

What about you?

image: flickr

17 responses to “The 4 Things I Do The First 30 Minutes At Work”

  1. marcuswest says:

    Haha Jens. Its not a bad system, quite interesting actually. Why don’t you use it though?

    • That’s a good question 🙂

      I always just start working, without thinking too much about why or what. But writing this post made me realize that I might change everything I do.

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

  2. Peggy Baron says:

    Hi Jens,
    I usually just dive right in. My family doesn’t understand why I love Mondays, but I do!

    Before I get out of bed, I try to remember to think of 5 things I’m grateful for. I usually start with, “I’m thankful for my warm cozy bed…”

    Otherwise, I don’t spend a lot of time thinking as you suggest. It sounds great, especially what you said about focusing on ways to get more energy. I’m more likely to reach for that chocolate! 😀

    Peggy Baron

  3. ‘The Eye of the Tiger’ is enough of a system within itself Jens…. 🙂

    Nothing like a good visual of Rocky running up the steps in Philadelphia.

  4. Natalie Sisson says:

    Beautiful – I hope you do achieve this 5/7 days as I’m sure it would be beneficial. I started my morning on the terrace overlooking the pool, eating fruit and porridge and journalling. I feel much better for it

    • I would love to start each morning like you do, ah, I wish I had a terrace overlooking a pool (and I wish I was somewhere else other than in Norway at the moment… too much snow and it’s freezing) 🙂

  5. You’re like me then, I usually just dive in as well… but the part with the chocolate sounds awesome 🙂

  6. TristanH says:

    This is awesome, Jens! You should definitely do it!

    What do I do in the mornings? Like you and Peggy, I pretty much just dive right into it. I’m not hungry right after I wake up, so I don’t even eat for a few more hours.

    I do like your theoretical approach, though, and I think I might have to try it out 🙂

    (Oh, and that’s really cool that you walk to work!)

    • Like you I’m not very hungry right after I wake up, but I get up at 5 a.m. and then after I’ve walked for close to 45 minutes (in all sorts of weather), I usually end up eating my breakfast as soon as I sit down in the office 🙂

      Thanks a lot for your comment Tristan.

  7. Elise M says:

    Wow, I really loved this post.

    I’m a big fan of personal development blog posts, and this is something I can really use. The way you gather yourself together by closing your eyes and using that song to help you prioritize your work is something I could really learn from.

    Personally, I struggle with keeping a routine. My schedule is all over the place, being a student with such a random schedule. I also have a big problem with procrastination! This is something I need to fix. Mornings are a big mess for me. (I’m a night person.)

    Anyway, I really learned something here, and I’ll probably try your technique out. My unorganized schedule is really annoying me and I need to boost my productivity for sure. Thanks for sharing this, I really enjoyed reading about it! 🙂

  8. That is an excellent schedule for everyday, but are you able to keep up with you schedule without miss? I had planned several times on my daily schedule but had lost it several times, as some or the other task or problem will come in between.

  9. Usually I don’t have any problems with my schedule, but that’s probably because I don’t have more than 2 things on my to-do list 🙂

  10. allubarbosa says:

    My schedule is all over the place for the student of such a random program. I also have a big problem with procrastination! I think this is necessary to correct. The mornings are a mess for me

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  11. Jac Evans says:

    I like your way to work. Its a good one. These four things are necessary one. This post is specially best for those whose are interested in this work.

  12. Joseph Hipolito says:

    That’s right Jac I agree what have you said, because This work is really nice if you know how to do it..

  13. werbemittel says:

    yup….. nice points you have shared

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