Lifestyle 08 December 2016
Talk to any executive and they'll tell you the same thing in between sips of their morning Joe: “The morning is the most productive time.” They’re right - countless studies don’t just say the early bird gets the worm, but it’s a prized-time for focusing, having alone time and breezing through your to-do list in lighting speed.
“Being a morning person means enjoying more time. Regardless of how you may choose to use that extra time, it is an opportunity for enhanced productivity, efficiency and work-life balance." life coach Emeline Roissetter explains. "When snoozers tend to rush out the door increasing their stress level, not giving any thought to their appearance or their personal well-being, early risers tend to look sharper, well put together and more relaxed about the challenges ahead. Waking up early gives you an opportunity to be and feel more prepared for your working day which will decrease your stress level which in turn will help you think more clearly and therefore improve your problem-solving and decision making skills.”
But if you’re the type of person who has never been naturally blessed with the ability to rise sans alarm or not push snooze (hey, we’re all guilty sometimes) - then the thought of working in the early A.M. probably seems daunting. No worries though: these life coaches share their best solutions that help make anyone - and yep, they mean anyone- a morning person.
Here’s how to get started just in time for 2017:
Commit to 21 days.
Science says it takes three weeks to form a new habit - for better or for worse - so when you decide to become a new morning person, make sure you set aside the time to truly give it a chance. That means even if you drink a little too much at a happy hour, you’re still getting up the next day, so remember your choice when you say ‘yes’ to another half-priced marg. This means you will decide on what your trigger is to remind you of your goal and then actually following through, just like you would when anyone gives you a deadline. “A trigger is a sign you send to your brain that creates a behavior. For example when you see a stop sign, your brain understands that the right behavior is to stop…. You don’t need to think about it, your subconscious takes over and it just happens. Triggers are created by developing a new routine and constant repetition,” Roissetter says. “Experts say that it takes a minimum of 21 days for a new habit to be created, so if you wish to truly give it a go, commit to a minimum of 3 weeks. You don’t need to make drastic changes all at once, you can simply ease into it one baby step at a time.”
Eat protein ASAP.
You know that post (and pre) workout, having a hearty amount of protein will keep you feel full and satisfied, but as life coach John Moore says, this part of our diet is a must-have for morning performance. The catch though? Don’t just gobble up a hard boiled egg when you rub your eyes to a new day, but do it at night, too. “Eat a small amount of protein right before bedtime. This will keep cortisol levels in check and help with a good night's sleep,” he explains. “Then, the recipe for a good morning is to have protein first thing (30 grams within 30 minutes of waking up) This revs up the metabolism and gets you moving.”
Book something that makes you accountable.
It could be an 8 a.m. meeting with your investors or a 7:30 a.m. Pilates class that’ll charge you if you’re a no-show. Whatever will motivate you to be on time and make a commitment to early rise, life and success coach, Valerie Langley says to book it now. “I go to a 5:30 a.m. exercise class that I sign up for in advance which helps me to get up. I have the accountability of the trainer I work with is expecting me, so it motivates me to get out of bed and show up. You can also have an accountability partner someone at work or just a friend who also wants to be an early riser,” she explains. “Every day you can check on each others progress and encourage and celebrate each of your successes. Also having someone to lift you up and help you to get back on the wagon if you fall off will help.”
Find a reason to wake-up that means something to you.
You know how to make business goals, respond to employees of all different management styles and still remember to reply to your best friend’s text message, so why wouldn’t you be able to get up a bit earlier? The reason you’re able to commit to these other parts of your life is because they hold meaning to you. That’s why making your morning significant and person is key. “Focus on the reason you wanted to get up early in the first place. Was it to work out or get in an hour of work uninterrupted, or just to have some quiet alone time to refuel and recharge to be able to give your absolute best to your family and work?,” Langley says. “Whatever the reason let that be your morning focus not how early you are actually getting up. Knowing you will be more productive at work and throughout the day is also a great thing to focus on.”
Do some jumping jacks when you wake up.
Most folks who follow the sun on it’s way up usually have the motivation of exercise to get them going. Your blood pumping, the sweat dripping and your heart racing is a sure-fire way to wake you up - and quickly. But if a workout class or logging an hour at the gym just isn’t your cup of energizing green tea, you can always do something at home that’s easier. Even if it’s just one movement! “Jumping jacks as the first exercise in the morning is like coffee to me (because I don't drink coffee). I'm super alert after 50 fast paced jumping jacks,” life coach, Arianan Curry says.
Don’t make it easy on yourself.
Another trick that Curry uses? Placing his alarm clock far, far away from him so that he can’t simply roll over and give in to his desire to sleep just five minutes more. “I have my alarm set up in the alcove of my bedroom, in front of a big window, with a yoga mat and weights already set up. I have 3 versions of a 15 minute intense workout taped near the big window. This means that I have to get up and walk about 12 feet to turn off the alarm but the ingenious part for me is that once I walk 20 paces or so and turn off the alarm and see the exercise mat and my exercise equipment waiting for me I'm not going back to bed and I’m up and eager, while being fully awakened by the sunshine coming through the window. Beats getting dressed and heading to the gym.”
Don’t make it just about work, but about joy.
While it’s true that not being interrupted by meetings, your children, phone calls or obsessively scrolling through reports (or ahem, Facebook) means you’ll get so much work completed, there’s another bonus of waking up early to keep in mind. Not only is it positive for your business, but for your sense of self, too. Roissetter says to make sure you pick something to do in the morning that brings you personal happiness. “You may want to use that time to paint your nails, have a bubble bath, express yourself through art, spend more time with your kids or share quality time with your partner,” she suggests. “Whatever it is, do something that truly makes you happy. It will help you set the tone for a good day and make your new early morning habit much more enjoyable. This is your time to focus on yourself.”
3 min read
"More grapes, please," my daughter asked, as she continued to color her Peppa Pig drawing at the kitchen table.
"What do you say?" I asked her, as I was about to hand her the bowl.
I shook my head.
I stood there.
"I want green grapes instead of red grapes?"
I shook my head again. I handed her the bowl of green grapes. "Thank you. Please don't forget to say thank you."
"Thank you, Momma!"
Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children?
Many of us are busy training our young children on manners on the other side of the Zoom camera during this pandemic. Reminding them to say please, excuse me, I tried it and it's not my favorite, I am sorry, and thank you. And yet somehow simple manners continue to be undervalued and underappreciated in our workplaces. Because who has time to say thank you?
"Call me. This needs to be completed in the next hour."
"They didn't like the deck. Needs to be redone."
"When are you planning on sending the proposal?"
"Did you see the questions he asked? Where are the responses?"
"Needs to be done by Monday."
Let me take a look. I didn't see a please. No please. Let me re-read it again. Nope, no thank you either. Sure, I'll get to that right away. Oh yes, you're welcome.
Organizations are under enormous pressure in this pandemic. Therefore, leaders are under enormous pressure. Business models collapsing, budget cuts, layoffs, or scrapping plans… Companies are trying to pivot as quickly as possible—afraid of extinction. With employees and leaders everywhere teaching and parenting at home, taking care of elderly parents, or maybe even living alone with little social interaction, more and more of us are dealing with all forms of grief, including losing loved ones to COVID-19.
So we could argue we just don't have time to say thank you; we don't have time to express gratitude. There's too much happening in the world to be grateful for anything. We are all living day to day, the pendulum for us swinging between surviving and thriving. But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?
If you don't think you have to say thank you; if you don't think they deserve a thank you (it's their job, it's what they get paid to do); or if you think, "Why should I say thank you, no one ever thanks me for anything?" It's time to remember that while we might be living through one of the worst recessions of our lifetimes, the market will turn again. Jobs will open up, and those who don't feel recognized or valued will be the first to go. Those who don't feel appreciated and respected will make the easy decision to work for leaders who show gratitude.
But if we don't have the time to be grateful now, to show gratitude and thanks as we live through one of the most cataclysmic events in recent human history, when will we ever be thankful?
Here's the question at hand: Do we have to retrain our leaders to say thank you like I am training my children? Remind them with flashcards? Bribe them with a cookie? Tell them how I proud I am of them when they say those two magical words?
Showing gratitude isn't that difficult. You can send a thoughtful email or a text, send a handwritten card, send something small as a gesture of thank you, or just tell them. Call them and tell them how thankful you are for them and for their contributions. Just say thank you.
A coworker recently mailed me a thank you card, saying how much she appreciated me. It was one of the nicest things anyone from work has sent me during this pandemic. It was another reminder for me of how much we underestimate the power of a thank you card.
Apparently, quarantine gratitude journals are all the rage right now. So it's great if you have a beautiful, leather-bound gratitude journal. You can write down all of the people and the things that you are thankful for in your life. Apparently, it helps you sleep better, helps you stay grounded, and makes you in general happier. Just don't forget to take a moment to stop writing in that journal, and to show thanks and gratitude to those you are working with every single day.