8 things highly productive people always do before midday

So, you want to know how to get more done.

That magic word – productivity – sounds like it could help you achieve all your greatest dreams if only you could figure out how it works.

Well, while productivity is not composed of a set number of blanket pieces of advice that 100% work, I will say that it hides plenty of hacks you can try.

Is there any guarantee your life will be transformed in the next 24 hours?


But that’s not what productivity is about. At its core, it’s about throwing things at a wall and seeing what sticks. It’s about figuring out what’s best for you.

Without further ado, here are the 8 things highly productive people do before midday. Have your pick.

1) They take at least five minutes to check in with themselves

It may sound strange that the first thing productive people do is something so, well… unproductive.

That’s how it looks in the eyes of society, anyway. What’s so great about closing your eyes and meditating for a bit? Where is the value? The hard work? The hustle and grind?

Contrary to popular belief, taking the time to check in with yourself every morning is actually one of the most valuable actions you could take.

And that’s because the way you start your day often impacts how that day progresses.

If you put in the effort to create a sense of calm first thing in the morning, there’s a high chance it will be easier for you to embrace the so-called “mindful productivity”.

Unlike hustling productivity, mindful productivity is all about tackling tasks with calm focus and intention. It’s about being in the present moment, not rushing, and creating a state of flow.

What’s more, Forbes says mindfulness could also potentially improve collaboration, leadership skills, and decision-making.

So, rule number one is to carve out a bit of time for yourself every morning. It could transform your whole day.

2) They move their body

Exercise has been shown to improve work performance. This probably comes as no surprise – after all, almost every productivity article mentions physical activity at some point or another.

It can get a bit annoying, I know. But that’s because you know those articles are right – you just don’t want to listen. 

I’ve been there. “Isn’t there some easy hack that doesn’t involve getting all active and sweaty?” I would ask myself. “Something that requires a bit less… work?”

I always thought that exercising would only deplete my energy and take away from all the work I could be doing.

Then I started going to the gym and realized that more often than not, exercise actually invigorated me. What brought my spirits down wasn’t any physical activity – it was the lack of it.

The key is to get to work as soon as you finish working out. Try not to sit down in between those two activities.

The moment you plop down on the sofa and grab a book or take a break to scroll on your phone for “five minutes”, you’re done for.

Personally, I like to do a bit of yoga in the mornings. All it takes is fifteen minutes of my time, and it sets me up for a mindful workday, not to mention I get to stretch and move a little.

Remember: even a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise at all.

3) They go through their to-do list for the day ahead

I’ve never met anyone productive who didn’t have a to-do list.

This isn’t to say people like that don’t exist. It’s just that to-do lists make everything so easy that most productive people swear by them.

A to-do list keeps you on track. It helps you tackle all important tasks by providing a dopamine boost every time you tick something off. It offers structure. 

And even if you don’t manage to complete the whole list, it is still a useful tool that helps you navigate your days and weeks.

I like to split my to-do lists into three blocks: morning, afternoon, and evening.

My morning to-do list consists of my main work tasks, yoga and mindfulness, and any admin that needs to be done quickly.

Oh, and speaking of to-do lists…

4) They eat the frog

busy people from highly productive people 8 things highly productive people always do before midday

The phrase “to eat the frog” means “to tackle the most difficult task on your to-do list first”.

We all have tasks we dread, tasks we’d rather skip because they seem so large and overwhelming that we freeze up in fear.

And yet the more we procrastinate, the scarier they seem, looming over our heads like shadows that are about to swallow us whole.

It’s quite funny that the moment you sit down to actually do it, you soon realize that the activity itself is nowhere near as terrifying as the idea of it. Everything is more difficult in your head.

This is why many productive people eat the frog before midday. As soon as the hardest task on their to-do list is done, they feel a huge sense of relief, and what’s more, all their other tasks look easy in comparison.

It’s a great way to propel your motivation and productivity.

5) They limit all distractions

In our day and age, it’s pretty darn difficult to remain focused – there is always your phone to keep you company when you feel like procrastinating, co-workers to chat with when the work day seems long, or TVs and adverts to look at when you glance up from your laptop.

If possible, try to limit these distractions to a minimum.

Do I always stick by that rule myself? No. I’m only human, too.

Just yesterday, I was in the middle of writing an article when I got distracted by my friend’s messages on my phone. I spent the next two hours texting with him, and when our conversation was finally over, I didn’t feel like writing anymore because my flow had been completely cut off.

Let my mistake serve as a lesson to all of us: when you’re working, don’t go on your phone if you can help it. Put it on airplane mode or shut it in a drawer.

You’ll thank yourself later.

6) They take productive breaks

Of course, I’m not saying you should work nonstop. Breaks can be incredibly productive, especially since many people can properly focus for only about fifteen to twenty minutes.

However, it’s very important that you take breaks that are productive rather than destructive.

Scrolling on your phone for half an hour? That’s not going to help you focus better when you eventually return to work. What’s more, it might make your work appear much more difficult in comparison, ruining your flow.

Try going on a short walk, doing a bit of yoga, chatting with a co-worker for a little while when you’re making yourself coffee, or doing some jumping jacks.

You could also try tackling some work-related admin tasks. This will help you take a break from difficult high-focus tasks, but you’ll also stay in work mode.

7) They get ready to tackle their afternoons

The reason I love splitting my to-do list into three blocks is that it structures my days in a way that forces me to get a lot of work done without too much pressure.

Since my morning block is followed by an afternoon block, I know that all my morning tasks should ideally be finished by the time I have lunch.

Once noon finally rolls around, I feel accomplished because I have managed to do so much, and what’s more, I feel ready to focus on my afternoon tasks, which usually consist of some more work, working out, and any other projects I have lined up.

When you don’t structure your days at all, your mornings may easily slip into afternoons which turn into evenings. Before you know it, the whole day has gone by, and you have very little to show for it.

Be specific about your goals for the day. And once your morning tasks are done, get ready to embrace everything the afternoon has to offer.

8) They listen to their bodies

Don’t think that just because many productive people blitz through their to-do lists by noon, it automatically means that night owls are lazy.

In fact, one defining trait of people who are genuinely productive is that they know themselves extremely well.

For example, I know that I can get a lot of work done in the mornings. Around 2 PM, I am usually hit by an afternoon slump that lasts until around 4 PM, which is when my energy levels pick up again.

I use that “siesta time” to do some house chores, have a nap, or go to the gym if I feel up to it.

If you have tried and failed many times to be productive in the mornings, perhaps mornings simply aren’t a great time for you.

Maybe you excel in the afternoons or during the nights, and that’s perfectly fine – as long as you know how to make it work.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: productivity is about finding specific rituals and tricks that work for you. So, go ahead and try some of the tips above. See what sticks.

Picture of Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair

Ava Sinclair is a former competitive athlete who transitioned into the world of wellness and mindfulness. Her journey through the highs and lows of competitive sports has given her a unique perspective on resilience and mental toughness. Ava’s writing reflects her belief in the power of small, daily habits to create lasting change.

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