You might say it began, as I headed to my first day of full-time employment. As I took my seat in the GO train cabin, I couldn't help but notice the quiet, almost mournful atmosphere around me. While, in my heightened sense of anticipation and gratitude, I couldn't help but smile unconsciously and had a spring in my step - I found others were generally not inclined to do the same.
As the train rumbled to a stop at Financial District and everyone began to disembark, the scene that came to my mind was that of Hollywood's mechanical robot armies marching along. At first, the thought amused me and I chuckled inwardly, at my mind's eagerness to dramatize the situation. This was followed by a more alarming prospect. In the weeks to come, would I too, join the ranks of overworked and forlorn faces?
Since then, I've had a lot of fun experimenting with my daily routine. I've learned firsthand that just a few, small positive changes can go a long way in making sure I wake up on the right side of bed every day! Here are those lessons:
We are all guilty of abusing the snooze button and trying to sleep in as much as possible.
As you know what follows next is not a pretty sight: You jump out of bed half-panicked and half-asleep, struggle to get ready and run out of the house in a rush to catch the last train or bus or parking spot. If you're lucky you manage to grab a quick breakfast without spilling something on yourself - otherwise you turn red, when your tummy growls publicly in protest!
Rushing in the morning creates all sorts of mini-panic attacks and causes stress levels to shoot through the roof before you're even at work or school - more often than not, producing a carryover effect through most of your day!
Instead, set an alarm for 15 to 30 minutes before you need to be awake.
Take a morning walk, meditate spiritually or witness the sun rise and you'll be amazed at how unflustered you will remain no matter what the day throws your way.
2. Jazz up your commute!
For most of us, our commute takes up a significant portion of our day and is our least liked activity! The best way to make this time more bearable is to give your self some much-needed creative and social nourishment. Read, listen to podcasts or catch up with your network of friends and family. Personally, I find myself looking forward to my work week - simply because it means I have undisturbed and exclusive time set aside for my long reading list!
Also, instead of bombarding your exhausted mind with endless (and often mindless!) social media streams - try zoning out and using that prime cerebral real estate to brainstorm your career or life goals! You will be amazed at the clarity of thought and purpose you will be able to achieve.
Think of your commute like a punctuation mark, both at the beginning and end of your day, that can completely change the tone of your day!
3. Eat a frog every morning!
While the French might find the idea of frogs for breakfast gastronomically appealing - when it comes to prioritizing, business executives swear by this rule:
If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!
Productivity guru Brian Tracy explains this as: "Your “frog” is your biggest, most important task, the one you are most likely to procrastinate on if you don’t do something about it. It is also the one task that can have the greatest positive impact on your life and results at the moment."
Given that mornings are typically when we have the most energy and face the least amount of distractions - this is probably the best kept secret to beating procrastination!
What do you do to add some spark & cheer to your mornings? Share your tips & tricks with us in the comments below!
Next blog: Find out how you can keep that positive energy flowing throughout the day!
Till then, rise & shine!
This blog post has been written by Areeba Ariz. Click here to learn more about Areeba.