We’ve all heard the old adage, “the early bird catches the worm”, but there’s actual proof that early birds are not only more productive, but also happier than their night owl counterparts according to a study from Emotion.

Here are some tips on what productive employees do before noon.

1. A To Do List

The night before, you should make a list of your action items for the next day. Although they may not all get done, by proactively creating your list you won’t lose precious time in the office if you did it the next morning.

2. 8 Hours of Sleep

Although there is no one number for everyone, 8 hours of sleep is typically the recommended amount for you to function at an optimized level. If you have trouble falling asleep, here are some tips from the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard:

  • Maintain a regular sleep-wake schedule, this means go to bed around the same time every night as well as wake up in the morning.
  • Avoid caffeine (or at least try too) because it hinders sleep patterns
  • Routine is everything – as you’ll learn from this list. Establishing your own pre-bedtime ritual that calms you down may make a world of difference
  • They don’t hit snooze. I know it’s tempting, and I am a frequent offender of this rule, but when you keep delaying the inevitable it eats into your morning routine.

3. Exercise and Eat

Working out for 30 minutes of moderate activity for 5 days a week can not only have significant health benefits, but it can also boost your career. After that work out, make sure you eat. The benefits of breakfast not only helps your weight control, but increases concentration and performance. Those who take part in this daily routine are typically in better moods, are more productive, and show more energy.

4. Morning Ritual

Create a routine that you complete each morning, maybe it’s lying in bed for few minutes watching the news before you start the day, make sure you carve that you time into your day.

5. Get the Hard Stuff Out of the Way

These productive types take their already made to do list and get the difficult time consuming projects out of the way. Why? Your brain is at its mental peak in the morning; don’t lose that key work time.

6. Time Manage

Manage your time so you avoid the morning meetings. As I previously mentioned, your brain is at its peak in the morning, don’t waste it in a meeting. Controlling your calendar with meetings also means controlling the time you spent emailing. Set up a certain time of each hour, or every two hours, where you take a break and respond to emails. Also try and mange into your time a mid-morning break. It’s actually good to zone out and give your brain a 10-minute break. You’ll be more engaged when you come back to your task knowing you took a well-deserved rest.

If you have any other tips on what makes you productive, please share and follow me on Twitter @LindseyNNelson