Even if you’re not a morning person, you likely have a specific a.m. routine. Maybe you listen to The Daily or watch last night’s episode of The Late Show, sit and sip your coffee in total silence, or, at the very least, apply your skin care. How you prepare for the day ahead is highly personal—but according to a new 620-day study of 151 employees in a broad range of industries, there’s one additional step that you should add to really set you off on the right foot. All you need to do is think.
Specifically, about work: The study examined how “reattachment” to their jobs (the opposite of the detaching you do when you wind down at night) helped people arrive at the office more productive and with better concentration. This doesn’t mean jumping on your emails or getting to your desk earlier. All you have to do is take a few minutes to mentally strategize how you’ll tackle your priorities for the day. You can also choose to write out your to-do list or look through your planner (see our desktop essentials, below), but that’s not totally necessary—the research showed that even when participants talked about their work with their partner or just thought about it on their commute, their focus streamlined once they actually got to it.
Consider this one morning routine switch that’s actually easy to make—you don’t even have to get out of bed to implement it.