1. Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
Sometimes your alarm goes off and you are just not ready to face the day yet. Resist the temptation to put off the inevitable by five or 10 minutes. (I can hit the snooze button multiple times, and fall back asleep multiple times. My solution is never set the alarm since my body is never ready to face the day.)
“Most sleep specialists think that snooze alarms are not a good idea.” That’s partly because, if you fall back into a deep sleep after you hit the snooze button, you’re entering a sleep cycle you definitely won’t be able to finish. So you’ll likely wake up groggy instead of refreshed. It’s best to figure out how much sleep you need on a nightly basis and make sure to get that amount.
2. Don’t Stay Curled up
So you avoided the snooze and now you’re lying awake in bed. Use this time to make yourself as big as possible — physically. According to Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, stretching out wide is a way to build confidence as you launch into your day.
Though it’s hard to say whether people feel good because they stretch out or vice versa, Cuddy explained that the people who wake up with their arms in a V “are super happy, like annoyingly happy.” (Since I can’t feel my arms until noon I am just plain annoying in the morning. Peggy is never annoying)
By contrast, she said there’s some preliminary evidence that people who wake up in a fetal ball “wake up much more stressed out.”
3. Don’t Check Email
If you sleep near your phone it’s easy to roll over and start mindlessly scrolling through your inbox. (Peggy is a roll over- scroller but she’s still not annoying) As Julie Morgenstern, author of the book “Never Check Email in the Morning,”if you start your morning this way, “you’ll never recover.”
“Those requests and those interruptions and those unexpected surprises and those reminders and problems are endless,” she said. “There is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes.”
Instead, Morgenstern suggests that if you’re going to do some work, make it a project that requires considerable focus. (I don’t focus until 10 pm. Maybe I should start checking email first thing in the morning?”)
4. Don’t Leave your Bed Unmade
Why make your bed? You’re just going to mess it up when you sleep in it later. But according to Charles Duhigg, author of “The Power of Habit” and “Smarter Faster Better,” making your bed is associated with increased productivity throughout the rest of the day.
Chicken or egg? I put my money on super-organized people who are more likely to make their bed to begin with rather than neatness creates productivity. (Peggy is organized and I’m “less so”. Yet she doesn’t make her bed and I make mine. If I don’t make my bed I’m unable to find it in the evening.)
But Duhigg writes that making your bed is a “keystone habit” that can spark “chain reactions that help other good habits take hold.” (So far, other good habits elude me . . . maybe I’ll try reverse psychology and leave my bed unmade)
5. Don’t Drink Coffee
Your body naturally produces higher amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, which regulates energy, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. So for most people, the best time to drink coffee is after 9:30 a.m.
If you consume caffeine before then, your body will start adjusting by producing less cortisol in the early morning — meaning you’ll be creating the problem you fear. (neither of us are prone to fearfulness . . . bottoms up!)
6. Don’t Get Ready in the Dark
“Your internal body clock is designed to be sensitive to light and darkness”, said Natalie Dautovich of the National Sleep Foundation. So getting ready in the dark could signal to your body that it’s still nighttime and could make you feel even groggier. (Maybe that’s my problem – I get ready in the dark because my eyes are at half mast until noon)
If it’s still dark outside when you wake up, Dautovich recommends turning on a strong light, like the ones used to treat seasonal affective disorder.
(Peggy goes outside, sits in the sun and drinks her morning coffee. She knows that morning sunlight resets our internal clock so we will be ready to get up the next day. HER eyes however are always wide-open in the morning)
7. Don’t Play it by Ear
It’s best if you incorporate your initial morning activities into some kind of routine. Scientists say our willpower is limited, and when we expend it early on in the day trying to decide what to do next, we have less left later in the day when we need to concentrate on work. Instead, let your brain run on automatic in the morning and conserve those mental resources for when you really need them.
(Maybe that’s why I’m not awake until 10 pm. Since my eyes are half-shut and my brain is still sleeping the only two organs left in my control are my mouth that drinks coffee in the dark and my ears which I play by)
How Do YOU sabotage your day before it starts?
Source: Business Insider, by