How many weekdays start with you angrily slamming the snooze button on your alarm clock? You shouldn’t do that. In fact, that’s the exact purpose you bought that alarm clock for, don’t be mad that it’s doing its job. What I mean is, too often we start our days by groggily rising from our beds and racing to make up precious seconds lest we be late for work. Most of us don’t even have time to eat breakfast before we start the morning commute. And then we wonder why we’ve had a ‘blah’ day.
Recently, I read an article on habits of successful people and found one common denominator in the testimonials:
They all woke up in the morning for a reason other than ‘time to get ready for work’.
That’s not to say they didn’t have jobs. Quite the contrary. Many were successful influencers in their industries such as CEOs, doctors and financial analysts. What these people did when they woke up was often self-improvement. I compiled their suggestions into the top 5 you might find compelling enough to leave your warm bed and perfectly-positioned pillow.
1. Exercise – many studies have pointed to increased energy levels in those who find time to exercise at any point in the day. When you couple this morning activity with the intake of water and a good meal, you truly do set yourself up for success.
2. Meditate – admittedly, the only suggestion I have yet to try, meditation comes highly recommended from many people with different walks of life. Getting started is easy if you’re interested.
3. Read – I love this one. I usually start my day by browsing my customized front page on reddit. This allows me to get the daily headlines in my city, an update on current world events (and there are no shortage right now), look at some funny pictures of pets to make me smile, and keep abreast of the ever-changing social media landscape. By the time I’m in to the office and someone asks me anything, there’s a good chance I have at least a basic understanding of what they’re referring to.
4. Plan the day – One of the best productivity tips I ever got (guess where? that’s right, reddit) was to have no more zero days. What that means is, no matter how busy you are, or what your priorities entail, make sure that you do SOMETHING towards achieving a goal you have. When I started this website, I used this tactic on days when I found progress near impossible… just fix one bug… just draft one post…. and now I have tens and tens of readers (kidding).
5. Everything they normally would, but slower – this one particularly interests me. You don’t have to add any activities to your day for it to be more beneficial. Perhaps you just lightly clean as you get ready because no one likes coming home to a dirty house after a long day. Maybe you take an extra second to do a morning stretch or glance out the window for a reason other than to estimate how the weather will impact your commute. ‘Stop and smell the roses’ is the advice I hear most often that goes unused.
Of course, results may vary. Just because several successful people identified these commonalities in their day no way infers a cause-effect relationship, right? But, even if you don’t end up running the corporate world or discovering a cure for laziness, at least you’ll be a little less inclined to answer ‘blah’ to “how was your day?”.
And that’s good enough for me.