Even – in fact, especially – if you’re not a morning person, establishing a routine during your first few hours out of bed will set the tone for a more productive, efficient and satisfying day. By sticking to a realistic routine, you’ll build the discipline to better manage yourself and your time, both at work and outside the office.
You’re Not Alone
Sleep studies have shown that more than 53 percent of people feel “dreadful” when their alarm goes off in the morning, and 27 percent feel “generally anxious.” Even during waking hours, the mere sound of an alarm can trigger what New York Magazine writer Maureen O’Connor calls Post Alarm Stress Disorder, or PASD.
What’s a Sleepyhead to Do?
The good news is, you can not only save time in the morning, but also make your entire day less stressful by using these tips to avoid the sting of PASD:
- Start the night before. Before you go to bed, be as prepared as possible for the next day. Pick out and iron your clothes. Pack your lunch. Set the coffeemaker. Maybe even print out a to-do list … whatever will enable you to sleep better and wake up refreshed and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
- Turn off your snooze button. This one may be a bit painful at first, but it can make a big difference. When your regular alarm goes off, it interrupts your REM cycle. The repeated intrusions of a snooze alert will ensure your body’s natural rhythm is off. Consider setting an alarm that awakens you to music or another soothing sound, instead of obnoxious beeping or buzzing. This will rouse you in a gentler, more relaxed way.
- Turn on the light. Whether it’s natural or artificial, light signals your brain that it’s time to wake up and stop producing the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.
- Drink water. Not just your mouth, but your entire body becomes dehydrated while you sleep. Start your day with a glass of water to refresh your muscles and organs.
- Set a positive outlook for the day. Actively state a positive affirmation to yourself when you first wake up. It can be as simple as “I can take on this day” to something more specific, such as “I will go to my Pilates class right after work.” Or, list three things you’re thankful for, to kick off the morning on a high note.
- Include protein on your breakfast menu. Food is your body’s fuel. You may want to opt for a protein-rich meal like eggs, instead of cereal or toast, for breakfast. Your body will work harder to digest it, and provide you with added energy.
- Take advantage of technology. There are numerous apps that can help enhance your morning routine, from those that trend sleep cycles to those that offer healthy breakfast smoothie recipes.
- Use the buddy system. In one research study, 70 percent of participants who shared weekly updates on their health, fitness and organizational goals with a friend actually achieved their desired results. This compares to 43 percent of those who kept this information to themselves.
Become the best manager you can be by becoming the best person you can be.
Frontline Source Group can help on both counts, by tailoring management development strategies specifically for your company leaders and workforce. To learn more, give us a call today.