By 10 a.m your day is in full swing. You're running around, conquering that to-do list and “busy" is pretty much the only word to describe your schedule. But every boss girl knows that a morning routine is crucial to making sure you have a productive day. Whether you're looking to perfect your routine or learn some new tips for clearing out any negativity and kickstarting your day, here's what all the boss girls are doing.
1. She stays away from social media.
It can be so easy to roll over in the morning, turn off your alarm and immediately open up Facebook - but don't. Opening up social media apps will only take your focus away from what's really important and leave you distracted by thinking about what's going on in other people's lives, instead of honing in on your own. Just skip it.
2. She keeps herself hydrated.
All boss girls know how important it is to get hydrated first thing in the morning. Keep a glass or bottle of water beside your bed and chug it right after that alarm goes off before you do anything else. Harvard Medical School instructs: “drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain, and muscles." You can't be your best self without it.
3. She plans her day.
Every boss girl knows that you must always have a plan. Running throughout your day flying by the seat of your pants is no way to do your job or run a business. Start each day with intention and bullet point what you know you need to accomplish. Having it written out makes it tangible and there is something so gratifying about crossing tasks off as you finish them.
4. She gives herself a pep talk.
The only person you need to believe in what you're doing is you, so starting your day with a quick pep talk will help you start your day knowing exactly why you're putting your efforts where you are. No pom-poms needed.
5. She stays informed.
Boss girls stay off social media first thing in the morning, but they most certainly stay up to date with what's happening in the world. If you don't have time, do a quick skim about what's happening in your industry and nationally, but make sure that you're informed and never miss a beat.
6. She gets moving.
Not only does exercise keep you healthy and in shape, but it's an instant mood booster and increases your energy. You don't need to get to a fitness class or hit the gym every single morning, but making time in your routine to take a short walk or even do 15 minutes of yoga helps to center you and makes all the difference in your day.
7. She does something to make her happy.
Whether it's something as simple as trying a new drink from Starbucks, meditating or even buying a pair of killer shoes you've been lusting over online - get up and do something . Anything that makes you smile so that your day starts with putting positive energy out into the world. Putting happiness out means that you will attract it back to you.
8. She doesn't skip breakfast.
It's the most important meal of the day and every boss girl knows the importance of nutrition in having energy to conquer the world. So get up, and get something into your stomach that will fuel you throughout your busy day.
9. She shows some love.
Whether you have someone lying next to you to give a big smooch to first thing in the morning or you pick up the phone to send some love in a special someone's direction - do it! When you show love, oxytocin is released; Mind Body Green suggests that benefits can include increased self-esteem, a strengthened immune system and an elevated mood.
10. She gets dressed in a killer outfit...that she picked out the night before.
The phrase “dress for the job you want" couldn't be more true. There is nothing like the confidence that you exude when you're wearing a dazzling outfit. On the flip side, waking up in the morning and having no idea what you're going to wear and scrambling at the last minute can throw your entire day off. Do yourself a favor and have your outfit planned the night before - it will make your whole morning flow more seamlessly.
When I first heard #OKBoomer, I cringed and thought — here we go again.
Yet another round of generation bashing, this time Millennials against Baby Boomers. This new social media conflict will not help workplace dynamics.
Throughout my career, I've heard countless rants about long-established workplace norms that younger generations perceive as overly repressive rules that subvert identity, familial obligations, civility, and respect for the environment.
I get it. I remember how I felt early in my career being told that I couldn't wear pants, had to wear pantyhose (even in 90-degree weather) and that I wasn't allowed to speak to executives. Seriously?
Gen X here to the rescue.
Sandwiched between the much larger Baby Boomer and Millennial generations, Gen Xers are often overlooked. Please allow me to build a bridge to the opportunity ahead.
For me, the generation challenge is a communications opportunity. And the stakes are high, because we spend about 70% of our day communicating. Within that timeframe, we spend about 45% listening, 30% speaking, 16% reading, and 9% writing.
By 2030, most Baby Boomers will have retired, and approximately 75% of the workforce will be comprised of Millennials. That gives us about a decade to continue working together to create a work environment that is better for women, people of color, and the younger generations.
As a multigenerational workplace scholar, I'm often asked, what is a generation, and why do they matter?
Karl Mannheim, the founder of sociology, concluded that key historical events significantly impact people during their youth. Essentially, when you were born and what was happening where you lived during your formative childhood years, help define what is important to you and help set your value system.
Think of it this way, if the games you played growing up allowed you to advance to the next level regardless of if it took one attempt or fifty, you might have a different perspective on what mastering a task looks like than someone who didn't.
If technology has almost always allowed you to be more efficient, you may seek to perform a job as quickly as possible, so that you are being productive, not because you are looking for a short cut.
If the answer to any question was always a Google search away, you might get frustrated when your questions go unanswered and are told to figure it out.
These examples begin to explain why Baby Boomers and Millennials value different things. However, there are always going to be outliers. I study generational-related values, because they frame how we show up and what we expect when we come to work.
In my recent study of 1,400 Baby Boomer, Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z women, I examined strategies for communicating. I was particularly interested in interpersonal communications — the process by which people exchange information, feelings, and meaning through verbal and non-verbal messages. It turns about that the most essential characteristics by generation were active listening (paying attention to others), collaboration (teamwork), and empathy (showing understanding for others).
Baby Boomers believe they are best at "paying attention to others."
Given our hectic schedules at work, you may be tempted to multitask while speaking or try to get by gleaning the gist of a conversation in a conference call while working on a report at the same time. But this isn't deeply effective. Active listening is crucial because being highly engaged in a conversation helps everyone involved have clarity and alignment on the exchange. It also helps build rapport and trust between participants.
Some practical ways to demonstrate active listening include:
- Asking specific questions or paraphrasing what you've heard
- Using non-verbal cues such as making eye contact and not looking at your device
- Maintain body language that shows you are interested and the speaker has your full attention
Gen X believes they are best at "working with others."
Lots of us have heard the expression, "There's no 'I' in a team." Teams that collaborate well have a better chance for sustained and repeatable success.
Effective ways to demonstrate collaboration are:
- Establishing clear goals and expectations for the team
- Being accountable for the team and yourself
- Providing and being open to feedback
Both Millennials and Gen Z believe they are most effective at "showing understanding for others."
The workplace is more diverse than ever before. Some organizations may have a Baby Boomer, a Gen Xer, Millennial, and a Gen Zer, all working alongside each other. By showing empathy, we can demonstrate that we appreciate and respect each other's perspectives and are open to understanding how they feel about a situation, idea, or concept.
Effective ways to demonstrate empathy are:
- Listening without judging or forming an opinion
- Being slow to criticize
- Acknowledging the other person's feelings as valid for them
So, instead of dismissing a generation with a hashtag, try to open a dialogue. For example, next time you are working with a Baby Boomers demonstrate that you are actively listening to what they are saying. Try sending a summary email about your deliverables on an assignment to Gen Xers to highlight your collaborative skills. And take time to let Millennials and Gen Z know that you appreciate and understand their point of view.