Weekend’s over people. This is not a drill!
I am about as far from a morning person as you can possibly get. If anyone talks to me before 9:00 AM, I tend to grunt in response. I love my job at ZipBooks, but it can sometimes take a while for me to get myself into gear and ready for the business day to start.
If you’re anything like me, you need some help getting into work mode. Here are some things that can help:
I am a night owl, so this is difficult for me. But logically it follows that the sooner you go to bed, the sooner you are likely to wake up and have time to get ready for the work day. Going to bed early makes it easier to wake up early.
Sleep enough that you are rested, without sleeping so much that you are over-rested. According to a national panel of experts, adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep. Getting the right amount of sleep resets your mind and body. Too little sleep can lead to grogginess, clumsiness, irritation, irrational behavior, and weight gain.
Waking up early can be rough, but it gives you time to get your energy levels up before work so you’re ready for human interaction. By getting up early, you give yourself more time to get ready so you’re not late to work.
You can even squeeze in things you didn’t have time for the day before, like food prep so you don’t have to buy lunch at work for the fifth time this week. Now you look good, have confidence, and have the energy to work hard, which might even mean an eventual promotion or larger customer base. Get up early and get paid more.
To be completely honest, exercising is pretty much the last thing I want to do when I get up in the morning, But facts are facts: nothing wakes you up better in the morning than exercise, and you will be able to focus a lot better at the office.
Also, exercising during the day can help you sleep better at night. Get your body up and active when you don’t have any other scheduling conflicts.
The best way to get your body going is to give it fuel to burn. But don’t eat just anything. You’ll need protein and the nutrients that come from fruit and vegetables. And, as much as I love Reese’s Puffs, eating processed sugar first thing in the morning will just mean that you’ll crash in the middle of the day. Eating a healthy breakfast and drinking plenty of water is a good way to stay alert and active throughout the day.
Who can fall asleep while blasting Chainsmokers or Zedd? Or if that’s not your style, pick your most upbeat songs and put them into a playlist for the morning. Force your brain to engage with lyrics and intricate beats early to wake it up.
And, if you’re really feeling it, a little dancing goes a long way. And, honestly, I am always an advocate of dance breaks in the corner of the bathroom or break room if I feel myself getting sluggish throughout the day.
Once you are awake enough, lay out your goals for the day. I’ve found the best way to do this is to use a planner, whether physical or digital. Planning out your basic day helps you stay organized and on-task. Splitting up the hard tasks with some of the more fun tasks can help keep you from getting frustrated with your job and experiencing business burn out.
Checking things off a list can keep you motivated and focused on the most important things you have to get accomplished that day. It also keeps you from missing that super important meeting with a client or forgetting to send out invoices after you’ve put in all that hard work.
If you’re cynical, this might seem kind of dumb. But it’s time to face the facts: studies have shown that smiling really does decrease stress—even when you’re faking or forcing it.
Ideally, you have a job that makes you fulfilled and happy. However, sometimes even the most awesome jobs are hard to kick off in the mornings. Putting on a smile will help you feel better, as well as lighten the moods of your coworkers and customers.
Jenny is a content writer for ZipBooks and a graduate student at Brigham Young University.