(Photo Credit: Tina++/Flickr)
1. Get up earlier.
It's tempting to hit that snooze button and put off the work week for just a few more minutes. But getting off to a late start sets you up for a stressful morning and, potentially, a rough week of always feeling just a few minutes behind. Getting up even 15 minutes earlier can make you feel less like you're always playing catch-up.
2. Eat a healthy breakfast.
If you're in the habit of grabbing a breakfast bar or toaster treat on your way out the door, you're shortchanging yourself on the nutrition front. Most prepared breakfast foods are heavy on sugar, light on protein -- the opposite of what you need to get your morning started right.
"Sugar provides quick energy, but it comes with an energy and brain function crash a couple of hours later," writes Hanah Cho at Dallas News. "Over time, blood sugar highs and lows can contribute to forgetting details, melancholy, irritability and confusion."
Not a great way to start a busy day of work.
3. Practice mindfulness.
Starting a meditation practice seems like a tall order for a Monday. Instead, set aside a minute or two for "micro meditations," the practice of paying attention to breath and posture for just a few minutes at a time. Even in short doses, meditation reduces anxiety and improves concentration, which can translate to higher productivity and better job satisfaction.
4. Don't check your email first thing in the morning.
Whether you sneak a peek at your email before you even get out of bed or wait until you get into the office, checking your email first thing sets you up for a day of marching to someone else's beat. Do something else for at least half an hour before you start answering your email, suggests Sid Savara.
"If you can stand it, wait even longer," he says.
If you're used to putting out fires first thing, this will take some getting used to, for both you and your boss. But if you can be heads-down first thing, you'll get a lot more done and have a chance to plan your day before encountering distractions.
5. Plan your day.
Before the inevitable meeting requests come rolling in, plan how you'd like to use your time today. Sure, you'll be doing so while knowing that your plans are going to change, but at least you'll have figured out your own priorities before you have to start dealing with someone else's. It's easier to know if you've achieved your goals when you start out with a clear idea of what they are.
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