Waking up to the annoying sound of an alarm knowing you have to get up and prepare to punch the time clock for work can be frustrating. You got in your recommended 8 hours of sleep, but you are still tired. Your mind starts to wonder if there is enough coffee on the planet to keep you going and we may ask ourselves what we can do to help improve production throughout the day. I have found some techniques that I would love to share that I find to help me wake up and prepare for a long day at work while reducing stress.
Create a schedule and plan the night before
Some of us are planners and some of us are procrastinators. Unfortunately, if you like to put things off then chances are you don’t prepare the night before for what may lie ahead. I personally like to pack my lunch the evening before and have my clothes picked out for the next day. I have found this to save me time in the mornings and prevent panic from setting in once that alarm clock goes off. No need to rush unless you are a linebacker in the NFL trying to tackle the opposing quarterback.
I have noticed that I am more likely to forget something important if I do not plan the night before. My mind becomes scattered and the next thing I know, I am walking into the office without wearing any shoes. Although this could be a really cool fashion trend that I could start with #toocoolforshoes after every social media post, I rather leave that to someone who could pull it off with more style and success.
In addition to preventing the panic and the possibility of forgetting some important work documents at home, I am able to get in additional rest because I do not have to wake up earlier to dig through the refrigerator wondering what I am going to bring for lunch, and I also do not have to trip over my child’s toys trying to pick out clothes to wear in the dark - Legos can really hurt bare feet at 6 in the morning… ouch!
Don’t hit the snooze button
Oh yes, the good ole snooze button. It’s a love-hate relationship, to say the least. We’ve all been there done that, right? “Just 5 more minutes” is probably the most commonly used phrase muttered in the mornings. Of course, I do not have any evidence on this, but I can at least pretend to make a stronger argument. However, something I do have evidence on is how it can actually screw up your day when you hit the snooze button rather than just getting up. According to an article by Huffington Post, your body and brain are taken by surprise, resulting in that groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling called sleep inertia. The more you snooze, the more confused your body and brain get.
As much as we would love to get every last minute of sleep possible, sometimes it is just best to get up and start your day. I have found that I am less sleepy when I get up on the first round of awesome alarm clock noises going off in my ear. Okay, maybe the word awesome was not so awesome to use, but you get the point.
Breathe and stretch
Once I am moving around after a night of slumber, I like to concentrate on my breathing. I feel like the extra oxygen allows me to become more alert, less tired and reduces stress. It can also help put you in a meditative state to relax the body and mind. You can actually get all this while increasing your energy levels! It’s kind of like a double shot of espresso, but hold the shot and the expresso. Yoga Today reports proper breathing aids in health and vitality, controlling mood, developing concentration, and creating the foundation for a vital and prosperous life. I highly recommend checking out the referenced article by Yoda Today so you can start experiencing the benefits of a better morning.
After some good breathing techniques, I move to a few stretches throughout the body to increase blood flow and loosen things up from laying in bed for so long. When you become old like me, you may feel like you have been hit by a bus when you wake up. Maybe it’s not quite that bad as I do not know how it feels to be hit by a bus, but a tricycle at the minimum. Once the body’s circulatory system starts flowing, the blood will bring nutrients and oxygen into your muscles and help them loosen up and prepare for when you are on the clock.
Eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” This is something we hear time and time again. Although I feel that all meals are important, a healthy breakfast is very important to kick off your day. WebMD released an article stating, “many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.”
Along with better memory and concentration, a healthy breakfast is also good for overall health. I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination so there have been times that I was unable to eat breakfast, and I can tell you that I felt a huge difference in the way I felt in the morning. I know it’s probably hard for some of you to believe me that I have actually skipped breakfast before due to my love for food, but it’s true!
Improve your life, health, and work productivity
Although times have changed, and more people are working from home, it's important to develop a routine that fits your schedule and working environment. Of course, these are things I personally do to help prepare for work in the mornings, but they may not be for you. I would strongly encourage you to try them out and see if they can help you. I would also love to hear what other people do in the mornings that helps motivate them to reach the time clock at work every morning. With that being said, drop us a line below in the comment section - we would really like to hear your feedback!