Is this your morning routine? Get to work, grab a coffee, and immediately check your email. If that fits you to a “T,” you’re not doing your career any favors. Experts have discovered that the most successful business leaders and entrepreneurs avoid email first thing in the morning. Why? Because it wastes too much time and mental energy, and derails their whole day. Besides, if they’re desperately needed, they’ll get a phone call, or someone will stop by. Here’s what successful workers do instead:

  • Make a gratitude list. It’s the first thing they do when they reach their desk. That may not be typical “climb the ladder” advice, but studies show that people who make a daily gratitude list reach their goals faster than those who don’t. So, every morning, jot down 5 things you’re thankful for. And visualize everything you want in your life, and imagine you’ve already got it.

  • They do the worst thing on the to-do list first. Rebecca Thorman is cofounder of the website And she says that having a tough task hanging over your head drags you down all day. But diving in and spending your first hour on the clock getting it done – or making progress on it – gives you a feeling of accomplishment. One that’ll increase your energy and make you more productive throughout the rest of the day.

  • Write down what task you plan to do first the following workday before you leave for the day. And gather together whatever you’ll need to do it. Because being prepared will make it much easier to dive in and deal with it first thing tomorrow.