Contrary to what you might think, your work day does not start when you sit down at your desk at 9:00 am. Your day actually starts as soon as the morning alarm goes off. When you are at work, you would not waste your precious time on things that won’t make you money. Paradoxically, many people do just that in the morning hours before they get to work.
The most successful people have strict morning routines that are designed to get them in the right mindset for work. It does not matter if you are working in sales or a star athlete…your day is heavily dependent on your morning activities.
Try to incorporate these habits to your morning routine. You will see that your entire mindset changes and your productivity at work greatly increases. They say that the most productive hours of the work day are before lunch. These habits will have a profound impact on those crucial hours and will immensely help you with your individual success.
Wake up Earlier
Most people who have to be at work by a certain time will calculate how long they can sleep until without being late. They attempt to maximize their sleep time by sleeping in as much as possible.
While the idea of more sleep is perfectly rational, the methods of sleeping in until the very last minute are actually very detrimental. When you do this, you’ll have less time in the morning to get your mindset right and will not have time to do most of the activities below. Also, how many times have you arrived to work and just sat there because “you are still trying to wake up?”
Rather than going to bed at 1 am, try heading to bed a couple hours earlier. This will allow you to get the same amount of sleep, but will give you more time in the morning to “wake up” and start the day off right. Plus, you won’t be rushing around quite so much.
Ditch the Snooze Button
Once your first alarm goes off, you are jolted out of your REM sleep, which is the important cycle of sleep to be in. REM sleep is what recharges your brain and allows for you to have a restful night’s sleep. When your alarm goes off, you are taken out of that cycle. Rather than just waking up, most people will hit the snooze button over and over again.
You might think that you are getting more sleep that way, but you’re fooling yourself. You don’t have enough time between snooze cycles to get back in that REM sleep. All this does is cause you to delay your morning routine and does not add any additional rest to your mental state.
Drink 1 Full Glass of Water
The first thing that I always do once I wake up is drink 1 full glass of water. After seven to eight hours of sleep, your body will use up some of it’s water supply and you’ll be slightly dehydrated. Drinking a full glass of water will re-hydrate your body, which will allow for your brain to function at higher levels. You might even find that you get a slight energy boost just from this alone!
Get some Exercise
Getting your heart rate up first thing in the morning is one of the most difficult things to do, especially when all you really want to do is lay around. However, getting some exercise will get the blood pumping and will quickly get you out of that “wake up” mode. You’ll be ready to tackle the activities at work without hesitation.
Also, getting exercise in general feels good. Think about your last workout. That feeling of accomplishment and that feeling of freshness after you are done is paramount to feeling good about yourself. If you have that same feeling before you start your workday, your entire mental attitude will be shifted in the right direction.
This does not have to be a marathon run. This can be anything from walking the dog to lifting weights. Whatever it is that gets your heart pumping!
Take a Shower
For me, a shower in the morning is absolutely crucial for my work day. It allows me to get that feeling of being fresh and clean first thing in the morning. Even if you are one of those people who prefer to shower after work instead, consider just standing in the shower for 10 minutes. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel afterwards.
Meditation is an awesome tool that should be taken advantage of whenever possible. It helps during your workday when you are stressing out beyond belief, but it also helps in the morning because it allows you a few minutes of zen to clear your mind and focus.
We always harp on how crucial it is to have a positive attitude and a clean mental state. Mediation plays a huge role in that. You don’t have to be a certified Zen Buddhist to know how to meditate either – all you have to do is sit down, close your eyes, control your breathing, and just be.
If you are one of those people who stresses out about work before you even get to work, meditation will have a tremendous effect on you. You’ll be able to focus, relax, and bring that blood pressure down.
Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day, yet I constantly hear people brag about how they never eat breakfast.
It really is the most important meal. The word itself means breaking the fast. When you are sleeping, your body goes in to a natural fasting mode. Breakfast is a way to bring your body out of that mode and will actually aid in your metabolism too.
Eat a GOOD Breakfast
Eating a good breakfast does not mean that you should be eating 4 doughnuts. I love Pop Tarts and chocolate chip muffins as much as the next guy, but that’s not the sort of breakfast that we should be eating if we want to positively impact our day. We can’t just eat breakfast…it has to be a healthy breakfast full of vitamins and nutrients.
Ditch the sweets and start to incorporate high protein foods in to your breakfast routine, such as eggs and whole wheat bagels. Protein shakes are also a good substitute if you are looking for something on-the-go. Drinking orange juice is another great one that you should take advantage of. When it comes to coffee, drinking one cup is perfectly acceptable (I could never give up that amazing aroma of freshly brewed coffee). Any more than one cup, and you’re doing yourself more harm than good.
Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Commute
Everything we have listed so far will get you in the right mental state and will have an amazingly positive impact on your productivity at work.
All of it will be wasted if you end up running late and get stressed out during your commute to work.
We’ve all been running late at least once. It’s horrible and it almost always ruins your entire morning. Giving yourself plenty of time to get to work will allow for a stress-free ride. Getting to work early is never a bad thing. Worst case scenario – you hit traffic and are still on-time.
When you Arrive at Work, Start Working
By the time you get to work, you should be ready to go. You’ve exercised, meditated, had a great breakfast, have a positive attitude, and are ready to face the challenges of the day. Make sure that when you get to work, you don’t get on Facebook or just sit there and stare at your keyboard. Now is the time to reap the benefits of your morning routine. You’ll see that your productivity and your success rate will jump to levels that you never would have imagined!
If you do all of the above, you almost guarantee yourself a great start to your day, no matter what is happening at work. The morning ritual is so crucial to success – make sure yours is having a positive impact on your day.
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Author: Jason Karaman
Hello! I’m a marketing, sales, and customer service expert, trainer, author, and doer. I live in the South Carolina Lowcountry with my wife, Ashley. I enjoy reading (history, philosophy, and science are my favorite topics), writing, hiking, kayaking, and all things beach. For media inquiries, send an email to JasonKaraman@ExpertCaller.com