Fascinating, enigmatic, energetic… obnoxious. 4 common adjectives used when describing the mystifying attribute people claim you either have or don’t. It’s something many successful leaders in business attribute much of their success to, so what is it that makes someone a “morning person,” and is it really something anyone can access? While studies have shown that genetics do play a part in a person’s chronotype (up to 50%!), it’s believed that you can train yourself into altering your circadian rhythm, and tap into your own morning personal power. Below, Consultant Relations Specialist (and resident morning person here at Latitude 36), Tyler Rider shares her favorite ways to maximize productivity in the morning.
7 Ways to Make the Most Out Of Your Morning
I should preface this by stating the truth: I’m a morning person. I’ve always enjoyed mornings. I understand that it makes being productive before 10 am easier for me, but I am also human. Mornings are great, but I would much rather be sipping coffee on my porch in my pajamas. The truth is when you embrace the day from the moment you wake up, your productivity will increase, and you will find that being able to accomplish tasks before noon decreases stress and increases happiness. Here are my favorite ways to make your mornings work better for you:
- Have a routine. Everyone knows that going to bed and waking up at the same time every day is the a great way to improve your mood. By committing to a schedule it not only does just that, but it implements a process that enables anyone to become more of a morning person. Want to see success with your sleep routine? Keep it simple and practicable- sure, an extra 2 hours in the morning could allow you to get in that marathon-training session, but going to bed when the sun is still shining won’t be appealing. Consider how many hours of sleep you need to thrive, and coordinate your bedtime and morning alarm accordingly. This way, you ensure that you get the number of hours of sleep that you need to perform to the best of your ability.
- Take 15 minutes to mentally prepare yourself for the day ahead. Everyone needs a few minutes to adjust in the morning! Use the first 15 minutes of your day to clear your plate of distractions and get organized. Scroll through your preferred social media sites to get that annoying itch out of the way first thing. I typically check Twitter for real-time weather reports (take the guessing out of what you should wear to work), and then read The Skimm to stay informed on what’s going on in the world (always an empowering way to start your day). Allotting a specific time of your day for anything that could interfere with real work is important- making sure you keep it under 15 minutes also gives you a time limit. Distractions out of the way? Jumpstart your productivity and use the next few minutes to check in on emails that came in overnight. This mentally prepares you for what you have coming up in the next few hours. Take this time to clear your inbox of anything that isn’t imperative so that when you open your email at work, you have a ready to go to do list staring you in the face.
- Eat breakfast. Whether you want to admit it or not, happy, productive people aren’t hungry people. It’s the most important meal of the day! Food is fuel, and energy is important to have when combating morning sluggishness.
- Manage your expectations. Some mornings start off wrong, and there is nothing you can do about it but adjust your attitude. By managing our expectations of what our day should look like, we fine tune our attitudes and don’t over commit. We can’t control everything, but we can control how we approach things. If you want to have a good day, face the day with a smile, but also be willing to accept change.
- Make a to-do list. Great news- you have already cleaned out your email and assessed what needs action, eliminating the morning rush upon starting up your computer. Getting settled is exponentially easier when you are already aware of your priority items. Write or type out the remainder of your to-do list for the day while you enjoy your coffee. Having everything spaced out on paper puts you in control of your day, and helps you stay on track with what needs to be accomplished.
- Don’t kick your day off with the most challenging thing on your plate. Simple enough, right? Unfortunately, sometimes we try to tackle the most stressful thing first because it’s the most important. While deadlines always take precedence, if the situation allows it, place an easier, quick task prior to anything that is likely to make you stressed. This will help you get into a groove without feeling overwhelmed immediately. Have more time? Analyze your to-do list, and coordinate those items to more appropriate points in your day. I use the first few hours of my day to tackle administrative duties or research for projects, and clean up anything that is leftover from the day prior. A large percentage of my work is speaking with people, so I try to save calls for after lunch, when I know people will be more settled in their day. It’s about gaging what will work best, and maximizing your time and attitude in correlation!
- Love what you do. The hardest point on my list is just this: no matter what you try to add into your daily routine or try to improve on, if you aren’t happy at work, mornings will remain a pain. It’s important to find something you’re passionate about. Try to find an aspect of your job that makes you happy and gives value to your job. In a rut? There is always room for improvement in our personal, as well as company-wide, performance- try to assess what you can do to help work flow and productivity. If you’re still struggling, figure out what fuels your passion and consider a career change. Passion breeds productivity, which is enough to make every morning a success!
Still not sure you can access your inner early bird, and see more success before noon? No fear. Studies show night owls tend to be smarter, more creative, and have a better sense of humor! If you can’t be a morning person, at least you’re funny.