We have all seen it firsthand.
The co-worker who slips into work ten minutes late, fancy coffee cup in hand, frazzled and looking like they just rolled out of bed…
While hopefully, that description doesn’t describe you most days Monday-Friday, there are characteristics that separate employees who are perceived as successful or have it together by their peers and superiors.
And if you were to ask most of those are categorized as the more “Successful Employees,” what many would tell you is that their “Trick” is in how they tackle their day.
In other words, how do our overachieving co-workers start their morning, and what are the habits they have?
1. They start with gratitude
What better way to start your day off on the right foot than to practice some gratitude?
While the act of practicing gratitude can sometimes be seen as a bit cliche, what our successful coworkers realize is that when they practice gratitude, they shift their mindset to appreciation.
An appreciative mindset is a positive mindset. Countless studies show that those who are positive get more done and are happier. Focusing on the good is key to starting our day off right!
2. Set daily goals
Being positive is one thing, but having some goals in mind to guide you is another.
Simply writing down the three biggest assignments or tasks to complete can be all the difference in accomplishing more and not. Whether they are personal goals or work goals, having a daily plan eases anxiety and gives us a feeling of control.
Try this: Get a notebook and write the date, one thing you’re appreciative of, and three things you want to accomplish that day. The entire process can be done in under 2 minutes!
Enough cannot be said about the benefits of exercise in general, but especially in the morning.
Successful people routinely make a habit of exercising early and often, and here is why:
- Exercise boosts your metabolism and focus.
- Early exercise increases your overall energy.
- You’re more prone to make positive choices.
- Better overall mood
Don’t overestimate the power of simply getting in 30 minutes of exercise a few mornings each week; it will help you in every area, not just work!
4. Eat something that doesn’t cause a glucose spike
Speaking in terms of health and wellness, certain foods can make us feel better or feel a lot worse.
Eating breakfast is key to a great day and helping with energy levels, but it has to be the right food. For example, a food group higher in proteins and fats will result in better energy levels than foods high in starch and sugar.
A glucose spike from a donut or another form of refined carbs (most breakfast foods) gives us a jolt of energy, but it is temporary. Afterward, our body actually hates us and starts to do some weird things, resulting in inconsistent energy and productivity levels.
This is the exact reason why you feel much better when you eat better in the morning!
5. Wake up early
It has been said that the morning is the best time to get your most pressing and vital assignments complete. You’re well-rested, focused, and in most cases, the day’s distractions haven’t hit.
That is why many successful people, in general, wake up early in the morning to get whatever is most important done for them. Be it exercise, meditation, reflection, or even working on an important proposal.
High achievers who seem to get more done in a day usually do this because they get up earlier than most!
6. Make time for themselves
Think about the days when you feel rushed and frazzled. Now, reflect on the mornings when you get up, you’re not in a rush, and everything seems in order.
Which ends up being the better day in most cases?
While it might be necessary to go, go, go, it’s typically better to make time for yourself in the morning to think, meditate, chat with your spouse or go for a walk. Regardless of what you do,
7. They avoid getting tied down by email
I have an essential rule, no email until after 9 am.
It is easy to spend 30-45 minutes of our precious morning time checking email and, in some cases, feeling overwhelmed or even upset depending on what is sitting in our email inbox.
Instead of starting our day off with endless tasks, it’s best to focus on either you or the most important thing you want to accomplish. Email can wait, and it’s best to place limits on email to avoid the constant break in focus!
Similarly to email, the same can be said for our smartphones too….
8. They leave their phone somewhere
Many adults now do this first thing when they get up:
Check their phone.
While this might seem insignificant, it is important to recognize that our smartphones are extremely distracting. Just as distracting is checking your email in the morning, our smartphone can result in quite a few undesirable actions.
A matter of seconds can turn into wasted minutes of scrolling social media, checking the news, and being bogged down by a large amount of mental clutter.
Instead, try turning your alarm off, leaving your phone in your room or somewhere where you can’t use it, and start your day off with goals, clarity, or exercise!
9. They say no
Greeting your coworkers in the morning is one thing, but avoiding gossip and learning to say no is vital to a great workday.
Successful coworkers are exceptionally good at avoiding break room banter and getting pulled into needless meetings/conversations. Learning to say the magical two-letter word “No” with people skills helps you keep your focus.
Not to mention, to be productive and to manage or time better, we have to say no. This can mean saying no to ourselves when we urge to check email, check social media, or check our phone!
When it comes to making the most of our days, it typically means we start our day off with positive choices. And positive choices is another way of saying positive habits.
Picking one or two from the list above is how you build positive habits, but don’t try to do every single one. Instead, build on top of your existing habits.
A unique concept, habit stacking, means you add a new positive habit to an existing habit. For example, after turning on the coffee maker, you will make and drink a fruit smoothie to avoid eating poor foods.
Or maybe after you brush your teeth, you immediately write down your top three priorities. From there, as these new morning habits become engrained, you can add to them from there!