All of us have schedules, have deadlines of some sort, projects or whatever that keep the days filled with running around and feeling like you are struggling to keep your head above water. It is normal, at least in the working world. I can’t speak for those that were born into money (I don’t think any of us reading this can relate) or those that have the luxury to sit around and read their “Myspace” all day while Mom & Dad (or the government) foots the bill. I assume that it is nice for a while, but for the most part you are left feeling empty and worthless the majority of the time.
For those of us that have to make sure they start the day off strong, and finish even stronger – I have put together some tips to make sure you at least start your day off on the right foot. I encourage anyone that has ideas to share them in the comments area – this can help everyone get more done, work smarter & not harder and overall live a happier life.
Start a ritual.
I can tell you that a lot of my success each day has to do with my morning ritual. One thing I have learned over time is the fact that if you are not on time each day, you are already starting your day off on the wrong foot. Running late throws a hitch in more than just your own schedule; it throws off your co-workers & the team’s momentum in general. I am an advocate for being on time, I cannot stand walking in even a minute late – so I make sure to be early. The main component in this is having a ritual.
Each morning I wake at the same exact time, hit the shower and do all the hygiene things that you normally do in the morning (no need to go into specifics eh?). Afterwards, the dogs are taken care of and a little breakfast for me is prepared and I am out the door usually within 5 minutes of the same time each day.
When I reach work I go through the same routine. Coffee is made, email is read, websites visited and the work day is prepared for. Simple, but highly effective. If you run the same routine each morning, you know that even when you are running a bit late – you will likely still be early. Planning to be early is the best way to avoid being late. A morning ritual will help jumpstart that plan.
Enjoy your coffee (time).
If you don’t drink coffee, tea, water, soda… or something – your crazy. Only kidding. Perhaps you eat a breakfast bar or something each morning, while normal people are drinking coffee and that is fine. I guess. The main point of this is to enjoy the first cup of coffee or the time it would take doing something you enjoy. Obviously if you are at work, the amount of joy might be turned down a notch or two. However if your job has internet access and you are early to work each day – you might enjoy reading up on news and blogs.
If you write a blog, you might incorporate your blogging time into the morning before work. Either way, find something that brings you joy and stick with it each morning. Make it a part of your coffee time (as I like to call it). The time you have each morning is valuable. If you rush into work and start working right away, you likely will get burnt out quickly. Taking this time to enjoy your morning and the fact that you have been graced with another day on this earth is irreplaceable.
Write a blog, email or letter.
I am one of those that have a blog, but just because you don’t have a blog doesn’t mean you can’t write someone an email or letter to help get your brain functioning in the early morning. Writing is a great form of expression, and being a writer myself I can vouch that writing each day before I get going fully is the way to go.
When you take the time to write something that will make someone’s day, help them out or at least just say “hey” – it can make a difference. Writing can be hard for some people, and having written something to get the kinks out of your system before your actual work day begins can make it that much easier when you have to write something work related. Trust me when I say that I can crank out work related documents with ease after blogging or writing a detailed email to someone. Let your leisure time help jumpstart your work day!
Planning out your day to the minute can make your day boring and predictable. No one wants to be predictable. However, it is handy to at least break your day up into sections so that you can ensure that you get around to everything you need to. All to often we are left at the end of the day with a feeling that we missed something. Flying by the seat of your pants means crashing by the seat of your pants sometimes.
Planning out normal tasks ahead of time, and even planning out your week a few days down the road can make all the difference. Spending as much as 10 minutes every morning to make sure you have a docket of tasks can save you hours (in terms of your work week). Be mindful of planning though, because you can OVER-plan your day. Leave a buffer in there for unexpected things… you will thank yourself later.
Eat something for breakfast.
The most important meal of the day happens before your work day really gets going usually. If it is a bowl of cereal, protein bar, piece of toast or yogurt – your brain will thank you for it in the long run. Too many people sit around starving and their brain running on the food dust from the dinner the night before. This is not good, and will make it where tasks are harder than they appear.
I hungry brain is not a fine-tuned machine, it requires fuel and feeding yourself each morning has to be something you work into your schedule. If you are overweight, eating each morning can help boost your metabolism. Running on empty is not something you want to make part of your routine. FEED YOURSELF FIRST!
Encourage those that are less motivated.
A co-worker that is not motivated can drag you down like an anchor. Encouragement is free and can make all the difference in the world. Spend some time each morning rallying the troops and getting ready for a day and you will be surprised at the overall performance of the team. Negativity is contagious and so is being positive – if you start your day praising the things that got done the day before and gearing up for another positive day… you can expect good things.
Your brain wants to learn. I know sometimes you wake up and wander into work thinking it is just another day and you just want to get through it. This makes for long days and even longer work weeks. Take some time each morning and read something and retain it. Lots of websites have widgets and things that can teach you a new word each day, give you a famous quote each morning or just a fact about this day in history. Whatever the case, you will learn something new and expand your brain’s capacity.
If you play your cards right, you can pick the things that you learn so that they coincide with your work and help you in the long run with everyday tasks. Learning isn’t always boring, make it fun and functional.