There are two types of people in the world:
Those who like Marmite, and those who HATE it.
Generalists, and Specialists.
Those who make things complicated and those who make things simple.
Those who love to talk and those who love to listen.
Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data
And, of course, the point that it is taking me a little time to get to, as is my tendency …
People that hate waking up in the morning and people who don’t.
Which one are you … one of the snooze button abusers, the duvet divas, the “I’ll just tell my boss I had a flat tyre” crowd? Or one of those who leaps out of bed the minute your eyes open looking forward to the excitement the day has in store for you?
I completely understand what it’s like to battle the desire not to pull the duvet back and swing my feet onto the floor, praying that a shower will help me feel ready for yet another day at work.
When you think about it, really think about it, it is a thoroughly depressing way to start every day!
So, what’s the answer?
Well, I think I stumbled upon a few of the answers recently – quite by accident!
Now that isn’t to say that this isn’t something I have been reading about for years, intermittently wishing that I had the strength of will to do them and scorning it as complete rubbish.
But I am a convert since I recently changed jobs!
My previous job was over an hours drive away and whilst the commute was at times very painful, it was something that I was in a well worn routine of doing.
Namely, getting up at the crack of dawn and leaving the house at just about the time that the majority of people were hearing the first chirps of their alarm and turning on the light.
And that leads me nicely into my first point …
1: Get Up Earlier
I went straight from one job, on a Friday, to my new job on the Monday with no break in between. Not the best laid plan (especially after a rather ‘enthusiastic’ leaving do with my old team!) but necessary unfortunately.
One of the effects of this was that I just continued to wake up before my next door neighbours cockerel with little say in the matter – my brain and body was simply in that routine.
And it didn’t take me more than a couple of days to realise I was more awake, more productive and a WHOLE lot less grumpy 😉
Now, I have worked with C-Suite executives for a long time and one thing i have consistently noticed running through and through this extraordinarily diverse group of talented individuals????
They, with only a very few exceptions, all regularly saw the sun rise!
There may be truth to the old saying, the early bird really does catch the worm.
2: Tuck Your Devices Into Bed Early
If you have to take your devices into the bedroom (And I would strongly recommend you try not too – there is lots of research on how looking at any of them directly before sleep is bad) at least put it far enough away from your bed that you have to get up to look at it.
Your phone doesn’t need to sleep, but you do. Resist the temptation to have it near you at night!
I must admit my phone spent nights on my bedside table along with my Kindle until very recently. I changed that when I realised recently I regularly went to bed early, shattered, only to stay awake for over an hour with Twitter/ Candy Crush/ LinkedIn and the like and then reading my Kindle for an hour after that.
I’ve always wondered if it was true that this kind of behaviour affects the quality of sleep so moved the phone out of reach and returned to a good old fashioned paperback and have to admit that I not only drop off much quicker but sleep more soundly … brilliant!
3: Ditch The Nokia Tone
Your phone is the best alarm clock ever and you really are not using it to its full potential.
Rather than waking up to some god-awful buzzer or sound effect every single day of your life, why not set your alarm to a song?
What vibe do want to create for the start of my day? My current fav is the Kungs with This Girl … now that will give you a jump start in the morning 🙂
No matter what you choose, just make sure to let the song play for at least a minute before turning it off. Another great reason for having the phone well out of reach!
4: Drink a Glass of Water
After the Kungs have roused your from your lovely warm bed … make sure your first move is to put your phone down!!!!!
Resist the urge to start checking email and social media.
BELIEVE ME I know that is harder for some of us that it sounds. My usual order of checking used to be Twitter (Quickest trending news top up), The Guardian (Real news top up), Email (Generally overnight junk) and then Linked In (Getting into a business mind-set for the day)
Absolutely nothing urgent or largely even very useful at 6am in the morning.
Instead go to the kitchen and get a glass of water because, after 8 hours, your body needs water more than it needs Social Media and False News.
5: Do Your “Two-do” List
We all have never-ending to-do lists of things that need to be done every day.
Rather than begin your day thinking about the minutiae going on in your life, spend a few minutes focusing solely on your “two-do” list.
The TWO most important things that you are going to make happen today.
Close your eyes and imagine them already done.
Think about how that will make you feel!
Your “two-do” list can consist of anything from cooking dinner for your family, walking 10K steps or crushing that big presentation — all that matters is that you decide what the two things are and let them rise above everything else going on that day.
Rather than continuing to dread the morning, try amending your routine for a week with these small changes and see how it makes you feel.
I’m not promising that you are going to be jumping out of the bed but they can make waking up a little less painful.
These are just a few tips for transforming the first ten minutes and priming your mind and body to have a great day. Give them a try.