Few of us leap out of bed when we hear the alarm go off, but for those who aren't morning people, the first few hours in work can feel like a never-ending nightmare. However, there are ways that you can make yourself more productive and get the most out of this time of day.
These steps may sound a little overwhelming at first, but focus on trying to include one or two into your daily routine for a month or more. By the end of the eight weeks, it will feel like second nature and then you can look at introducing other elements into your lifestyle and reap the benefits.
Here are some simple ways to make your time at work more productive in the morning:
Stick to a routine
Many people struggle to get up in the morning because they have poor sleeping patterns but you can easily change this. Set a strict time that you go to bed and when your alarm goes off in the morning. Stick to this, even at weekends, at days off, and you'll find yourself way more productive because your body will like the routine. After a short period of time, you’ll find yourself automatically waking up when you need to, meaning you'll wake up more naturally and will feel calmer rather than fighting the urge to go back to sleep.
Chill out time
When you were younger, you probably had a bedtime story or other things to help you get ready for bed. But many of us ditch this as soon as we're old enough. However, introducing chill out time means you can get higher quality sleep, and nod off more quickly too. It's important during this time that you're screen free and don't drink caffeine as these can disturb your rest.
You may also want to read a book in bed or listen to a podcast to help you unwind before you turn the lights off. It may help you to keep a notebook by the side of your bed so you can write down a to-do list for the next day or things you remember last thing at night, so your mind doesn't run away with you.
What you eat is important to every part of your life, including sleep. Of course, we all know we should eat well, but having big meals late at night can negatively impact your circadian rhythm, meaning you'll still feel tired when you wake up, even if you've had the recommended amount of sleep.
Give yourself time
If you're one of those people that just leaves enough time to get out and bed and get to work, you may find you benefit from setting your alarm 20-30 minutes earlier. Having this extra time will allow you to be much more relaxed when you get up, rather than having to force your body into being awake. You can use this extra time to have a cup of tea or breakfast at home, listen to the news or catch up on social media.
Have a plan
For mornings when you don't have meetings, it can be difficult to be productive if you're not typically a morning person. Planning the first few hours in work will give you more structure so you can start work as soon as you arrive in the office. Often, you can end up wasting time checking emails and your mind will soon wander, leaving you feeling unproductive and unmotivated. Having a plan for your morning that is easy to get into will help get your work day off to a strong start.