"The early bird gets the worm" is more than just a cute expression; it typically reflects the attitude of our society, where a morning person has distinct advantages. In fact, a recent study published in Emotion, an American Psychological Association journal, demonstrated that of 700 respondents (ranging from ages 17 to 79), the early birds reported that they felt happier and healthier than their late night counterparts. Switch up your schedule using this six suggestions and you'll see a boost in positivity, productivity and personal development.
1.) Get enough sleep.
A "morning person" won't be any more productive or efficient if they're hitting the hay at 2 o'clock in the morning. Make a point to get 8 hours of sleep a night (recommended by most experts) to ensure that you have the energy and concentration to get through each work day.
2.) Wake up on time.
Hitting the snooze button is an unhealthy habit. Running late for work can cause added stress and, if it happens often, can affect your relationship with your coworkers. It may take some time to get into the habit, but once you're used to getting out of bed at the first alarm, you'll find that you're able to achieve everything you need to before work. Be realistic about how long it takes you to get ready and commute to work and add a 15-minute "cushion" for anything that may come up (lost keys, extra traffic, etc.).
You don't have to sign up for a 5 a.m. kickboxing class, but consider starting your day with yoga, pilates or even 15 minutes of stretching. It will help wake you up and prepare you for your day, as well as boosting your mood and energy levels. Plus, if you're getting your exercise in the morning, you're less likely to flake out on that trip to the gym after a long day at work.
4.) Eat breakfast.
Take a few minutes in the morning to fuel your body for the day ahead. Whether it's a quick bowl of oatmeal, a Greek yogurt or an apple on the way out the door, you're much more likely to get things done at work when you aren't operating on an empty stomach and a cup of coffee.
5.) Schedule your day and to-do list.
List out your day's tasks in the morning or before you go to bed at night. Having a defined list of goals will help keep you on track and will mentally prepare you for the day ahead, so you aren't feeling overwhelmed. Many experts suggest tackling your biggest challenge early in the morning, so keep that in mind when crafting your list.
6.) Read/listen to music.
Stimulate your creativity during your commute with a good book, the morning paper or an upbeat CD. It'll be a good source for inspiration and will offer a bit of mental exercise before your work day begins.
What does your work day morning ritual look like? Comment below.