The best thing about the switch back to standard time, in my opinion, is that we have a little more light early in the morning. As we move deeper into winter, we’ll lose that extra little push in the morning to get up and get moving, so it will be just that much more important to meet the day head on.
Rise and shine! Love it or hate it, making the most of those early morning hours before work may be the key to a successful, and healthy lifestyle. Early rising is a common trait found in many CEOs, government officials, and other influential people. Margaret Thatcher was up every day at 5a.m., Frank Lloyd Wright at 4 a.m., and Robert Iger, the CEO of Disney wakes at 4:30 a.m., just to name a few.
You may want to argue here that you do your best work at night. However, Inc. Magazine claims that morning people have been found to be more proactive and more productive. Additionally, the health benefits for those with a life before their work day begins go on and on.
Here are some activities done early in the day of people who are known “success stories.”.
1. Exercise – Most people that habitually work out, work out in the morning. A morning yoga session, a trip to the gym, a good run of whatever distance – exercising before work gives you a boost of energy for the day and that deserved sense of accomplishment. Any pile of paperwork can be dealt with after a good work out. I have long been a fan of early morning workouts, mostly because then the exercise that I know I need actually gets done. If I also do a later-in-the-day swim or bike ride, fine. If it gets derailed for one reason or another, I at least, got that good energetic start to my day.
2. Map Out Your Day — Your potential will be maximized by getting a game plan together early in the day, including goals and “to dos.” I mentally start this process often while I am exercising, then commit it quickly to paper before I start any other activities. The early morning quiet is a good environment for prioritizing activities, triaging what would be nice to get done, and what actually can get done. It’s important, too, to plan some downtimes between intense activities, and to have some healthy snacks available to keep refueling with during the day. Get those ready the night before.
3. Eat a Healthy Breakfast – Put good food in your body first thing. Real food. Loading up with coffee and a muffin as you rush out the door, or whiz through a drive-thru will not serve you well, period. For my money, green smoothies can’t be beat, which can easily be prepared the night before. Drink 16 oz. before you leave home, and carry another 16 oz. with you for when you most need a pick-me-up during the day. Your energy level through the day will heighten, and your ability to focus on the tasks at hand during the work day will be enhanced if you are not distracted by empty stomach pangs.
4. Visualization – We have lots of conversation about physical health, and success will also be improved by early morning spiritual care. Spend some quiet time meditating, or visualizing, or praying. Visualize your day ahead of you, focusing on the successes you will have. Even just a minute of gratitude for the opportunities you have, and some positive thinking about possibilities can improve your mood and outlook about your work load for the day.
5. Frontload Your Day – Pick the most undesirable task on your list for the day – the one that you’d like to ignore for as long as possible and with lots of procrastination, and do that task first. Get it off the table and out of your mind early in the day while you are well rested and your energy level is up. You are better equipped then to handle more difficult projects or chores. Then the rest of the day is downhill! What could be sweeter? By the time your work day is ending, you’re winding down with easier tasks ahead of you, and heading into your free time more relaxed. Success is yours!