There is continuing evidence that people who use the morning hours effectively have a distinct advantage over those who don’t.
Using the time available to us with intention and purpose can be the determining factor for business and personal success.
So, with this information as a wake-up call, here are some tips from those who use the AM hours to effectively manage their day/lives.
Get sufficient sleep
Let’s accept that 7+ hours of sleep are what we need to give us the rest to recharge our batteries to tackle the next day face-on. Any less than this can get us off to a bad start, before we have really begun.
If you aren’t getting sufficient sleep and rest, most of the following tips won’t really help.
The ‘Snooze’ button is not your friend!
Once you are awake, it’s important to get into a positive state of mind asap.
If you hit the snooze button, it immediately sends two negative signals to your sub-conscious;
- It’s OK to lie to yourself. You set the alarm to get up, but you decide to lie in.
- You are starting your day with an ‘avoidance’ strategy. This can easily develop into a default behaviour and a habit.
Allocate time to plan your day
A proven strategy for success is to focus positive thoughts toward what you want to achieve that day/week – not on what you don’t want. Psychologists refer to this as ‘conscious integration’. Your ability to control and guide your focus toward your goals and objectives gives you a great start to the day – beginning with purpose and intent.
Some people successfully use meditation or mindfulness techniques to help them get clarity and set time and space for this.
Don’t just think it – write it!
Goals and objectives should be written down. Having your purpose in a more concrete format (written) reminds you of what you are aiming to achieve, allowing you to put your energy into things that will make a difference.
When writing goals, strive to use phrases that are powerful, and which can direct your subconscious. This practice is referred to as ‘auto-suggestion’. (e.g. “I will….”; “I am….”)
Despite the endless evidence for the benefits of exercise, too few people regularly participate enough to take advantage of the positives.
Regardless of your preference for exercise – swimming, walking, boxing, gym – get moving! In business – and life – we are often trying to keep worry, anxiety and depression away. Exercise is one of the most proven natural strategies to achieve this. If we don’t look after our body, how can we expect our mind to be at it’s optimum?
Read or listen to positive content.
Put simply, our input defines our outlook! What you choose to read and/or listen to can directly influence your behaviour.
You can look at your ‘input’ as the number of neural calories you are adding to your mental diet. Does what you are listening to or reading enhance your knowledge and make you smarter or a better person? If not, it’s probably consuming neural calories and working against you – leading to mental fatigue.
You will never fully remove distractions or interference from your day, but you can minimise it. As we discussed with the content to which you listen to or read, give thought to whether your activities are moving you closer to, or further away from your goals and objectives. While social media can fall into this category, it’s not the only culprit.
If you can take more control of the start of your day and make small positive steps, the flow-on effect to the remainder of your day/week will put you at a distinct advantage over others who shun these proven practices.