The way you start your day pretty much dictates how you will feel and act all throughout the day. Start it late and you will play catch up all day long. Start it mellow, power up and arrive fully energized and you will be far more productive. But how can you change and start the morning strong if you are not a “morning person”?
I arrived at the offices of a company I work at one day, several weeks ago. The hour was quarter to ten in the morning. The office was all but empty. I drank coffee, made some calls and started working, and one by one the rest of the employees came in, looking somewhat tired and un-energetic (The one or two exception were working moms, who preferred getting to the office early since they had to leave early to pick the kids from kindergarten or school ). On the other hand, when I left around 6 PM people were looking like they were in the middle of the day (the empty Pizza boxes I found the next morning confirmed that someone was working later). Sure enough- the next day this pattern repeated itself. I’ve asked some of these guys (most in their late 20’s, single or without kids yet) why would they rather stay late in the office and the all replied they find it difficult to get to work early (as if 9 or even 10 am is considered early) and have to put in the long hours to meet their goals and deadlines.
Why would someone rather spend the only part of the day where they could be stress free at work is beyond me. But it seems that many people hang to the excuse of not being able to do what is needed early enough and so start their day late and slow.
For these poor souls I have the following tips:
- Leave nothing for the morning No tasks. No laundry. No dirty dishes in the sink. Nothing.I even shower the night before, not to mention choosing my attire.
- Everything takes longer in the morning, and will just slow down your departure from home. So next time when you look at the overflowing garbage bin and think- I will throw it tomorrow morning- think again.
- And especially, no decisions. Making in form of decision (what to wear, what to eat, which route to take) is mentally demanding. Our brains as well as our bodies need time to “warm up” and are adept to making difficult choice so early in the day.
- Commute less, and if possible, do so by public transportation
If you can stay and work from home, even for 1 day, it will greatly reduce your stress level. Studies have shown that Commuting for more than 20 minutes makes you ‘stressed and cynical’ (See: http://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/commuting-for-more-than-20-minutes-makes-you-stressed-and-cynical-10278874.html). Researchers found a ‘significant link’ between travel and exhaustion, and recommend travelling by public transportation in stead of driving as a means to reduce stress.
- Stay offline as long as possible
This is more difficult than it sounds- most of us reach for our device as soon as we open our eyes. But refraining from doing so will give your brains some time to relax before the digital onslaught of the day
- Go to bed early- seriously, if you want to disrupt this sleepy cycle, make an effort to hit the bed early, at least one night of the week. We are programmed to operate when there’s sunlight- only in the last 100 years or so there’s been enough lighting to actually do somethings at nights. Before that- people just went to bed early- and what do you know? They also woke up early with no problem. So do like your ancestors and get some sleep, get up early and get some quality time in the mornings.
It is guaranteed to change your entire day.