How to Make Early Morning Work Hours Pay Off
By Sandy Schroeder
Most of us believe the saying, “The early bird gets the worm,” but we do not always follow that advice. Now, there may be even more reason to do so.
Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, an agency that serves 75 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, explains what happens as the day goes on.
Bradberry says the morning hours are so critical for creativity and production because we lose more spark, drive and control as the day goes on. We probably already knew this, but may ignore it, assuming we can pull off key meetings and work sessions throughout the day and start as late as we want.
If you look closely at your most successful work, much of it may have been done before lunch. If you agree, then the next step is to work more early in the day and fuel those morning hours with the best possible support
Eat a Real Breakfast
A veggie omelet, hearty bowl of old-fashioned oats topped with fresh fruit, or a creamy smoothie brimming with fruits and Greek yogurt will keep your energy high until lunch.
Shoot for an Early Start
If you are really a night owl, try to sneak up on the early morning hours by gradually getting up 15 minutes earlier. Treat yourself to your favorite music, coffee or pastry and try to make the new time work. Keep hiking the time up to expand your early morning hours.
Postpone Screen Time Until After Breakfast
Enjoy a good breakfast with your family and then check emails and daily schedules. You will be more focused and less stressed as you begin your work day.
Consider doing 15 minutes of walking or stretching every morning before breakfast. Or take a brisk walk around the block. Most of the people that I know who start the day smiling all do some sort of morning exercise routine. They always seem to be one up on the day.
Tackle Key Objectives Early
Now that you are up and smiling, break out the most important objectives for the day. If you can arrange it, do an hour of quiet work at home on your most important project before going into the office.
Consider starting with lemon water at breakfast and carry water with you all day. Keep a canister on your desk. Dehydration can quickly bring on tiredness and drain more energy from the day.
Conquer a Tough Task
Bradberry calls this “eating a frog.” He recommends doing something early in the day that you really don’t want to do. Polish it off and move on to more inviting tasks.
Making the most of the morning may pay off with the productivity you have been seeking. Try it and keep improving on the schedule if it works for you.
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