According to both scientific research and also anecdotal evidence from successful businesspeople, how you wake up is just as important as when. In fact, your morning routine may be the most important factor in determining how successful your day ahead will be.
Avoid the Snooze Button
Hitting the snooze button feels great in the morning because it delays the inevitable. However, once your first alarm takes you out of your REM sleep, the subsequent sleep you get won’t leave you feeling any more rested.
The snooze button can also spiral out of control. When you’re half asleep, it’s hard to remember if you hit the button once, twice… nine times. So instead of hitting the snooze button, get up and make effective use of your time.
Move Around / Get Things Done
Moving around (walking, using home exercise equipment, etc.) is the best way to get your blood pumping in the morning. Exercise (even light or moderate activities) pulls you out of your groggy sleep state faster than coffee and produces endorphins. This is why people that go to the gym before work seem to be so much more alert and ready to start their day when you see them in the office.
If the thought of exercising first thing in the morning makes you want to cry, just move around and get things done instead. I like to plan out my outfit, fold laundry that I did the day before, put clean dishes away, sort through mail that always seems to pile up, etc. I wear a fitness tracker and it’s remarkable how many steps I get in every morning before everyone else is up. It’s good exercise and also makes me feel like I accomplish something right away each morning!
Fuel Up & Hydrate
Eating breakfast is a good way to get something healthy into your body immediately each morning. A protein bar or piece of fruit is a good choice to get your metabolism started. Protein bars will help you make it to lunch without feeling famished and fresh fruit is chocked full of vitamins and minerals.
Coffee is the quintessential morning beverage, but many people take their coffee with sugar and sweetened creamers that can cause a crash at the beginning of their workday. Instead of drinking coffee, which dehydrates you, drink water to make you feel better and promote your overall health. (Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I actually hate plain water. So people like me have to get more creative – drinking flavored water, sparkling water or a meal replacement shake. But there are plenty of options that will fit the bill.)
If you skipped the snooze death spiral, you shouldn’t be rushing, which is good because rushing creates unneeded stress in your morning. You don’t want to use up all your energy (or sanity) before you even get to work! Rushing can also be dangerous because it often means you up speeding or driving angrily into the office.
Getting ready at a normal pace allows you to start brainstorming and problem solving subconsciously. It also ensures that you won’t forget to brush your teeth or apply deodorant :-)
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!