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8 Effective Ways To Make Your Morning Much More Energetic

8 Effective Ways To Make Your Morning Much More Energetic

You’re a robust individual, pumped up and ready to start the day with a huge smile on your face. Your boundless energy is contagious, causing other people to become just as bouncy and vigorous as you.

…If only.

Yeah, let’s end the pretend game and snap back to reality. I’m no morning lover and chances are, neither are you (that’s probably why you’re reading this). Even if you prefer nighttime, you can’t hope to gain as much from being boundlessly energetic then, because our system favors being energetic during daylight hours. For some of us, this can be quite challenging.

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If you’ve tried many techniques already, and have so far miserably failed at enjoying fruitful mornings- always ending up with only a quick shower and a half-done blow dry before you run off to work- you need to try these techniques.

Here are eight actionable and effective ways that you can make your mornings much more energetic:

1. Get Up Early

This is a no-brainer—and you might be thinking ‘Oh, Lord! Not this one again!’ But believe it or not, this is the real secret behind having a morning full of useful and rewarding activities. According to Inc and this Fast Business Canada infographic, early birds are more proactive, productive and tend to do most of their health-boosting activities between 6am to 7am. For many of us, a bit of hustle and bustle gets our blood pumping. If you start these kinds of morning habits, you should be ready for more work in no time.

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2. Do Something You Love

What could be a great endorphin-booster for some of us may not be a favorite activity for another. For example, I enjoy shopping and would love to wake up for a shopping trip every morning- even if it’s just the same groceries I’m buying every day. For others, reading, playing a video game, trying a new dish, dressing up, taking a bubble bath, gardening, or chatting with a friend can be an easy and stimulating way to wake up.

3. Write a To-Do List

Think about a few chores you can pack into your early morning schedule the very next day. Make a to-do list that is well-timed and calculated. (I.e., breakfast at 7am, jog at 7:15am, shower at 7:45am, dissertation writing at 8:00am…). Also, make sure you stick to your schedule.

4. Combine Activities

Push your mind and body to fully wake up by combining several activities. For example, fast-paced music is a great way to get your mind moving. According to a study done by Nicole M. Harmon and Len Kravitz, the intensity of music effects how fast (or slow) a bicyclist goes on a treadmill. So, you can get pumped up for the morning ahead through exercising, and thanks to the boost of endorphins and serotonin, you’ll feel great. Watching TV while exercising is another activity that requires both mental and physical exertion,and amplifies your energy levels.

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5. Wake Up to Pleasantness

What irritates you most the moment you open your eyes to an early morning? For many, the answer would be one object: the alarm clock. Your alarm clock doesn’t have to sound threatening, ear-piercing, or dreadful. By changing the alarm tone to something more pleasant, perhaps the sound of birds chirping or your favorite song, you’re more likely to wake up relaxed and happier.

6. Eat or Drink Several Hours Before Going to Bed

Eating heavy meals before bed is not only unhealthy – since it’s hard for your body to digest the food, but it’s also a potential cause of obesity and insomnia. Eat or drink at least 2-3 hours before going to bed (and that includes snacks, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks). Plus, experiencing hunger pangs in the morning will compel you to get up and make yourself a healthy breakfast!

7. Love Your Work

Perhaps, you don’t enjoy morning at all and tend to dilly-dally during the day because you’re not too fond of your work. Maybe, it’s not suited to your personality type. Possibly, you don’t find the work challenging. Or perhaps, it is overwhelming and you would like something less demanding. Losing passion for your work is a major red flag. Either find ways to reignite the passion, or if need be, change your career direction entirely.

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8. Take Breaks

You don’t have to be running around at top speed to keep your mornings highly productive. In fact, doing so will only lead to an inevitable crash, after which a long break from work will be required. Instead, try taking a short 5-10 minute break after every 90 minutes (or every hour) to cut yourself loose from the monotony of mundane tasks. Go for a walk and get some fresh air. Or just chill for a while until you feel like you’re ready to get back on track.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Sadie Douse

Sadie is an executive academic consultant at CorpEssay. She's also a passionate writer who shares lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

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Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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