Want to add hours to your workday and dollars to your bottom line?
Start each morning by tackling the most difficult and pressing item on your to-do list first thing. You’ll clear an important hurdle while you’re fresh and sharp, and – as an extra bonus – you’ll get a psychological boost at the same time.
“Think through your to-do list carefully,” writes Deep Patel in this article in Entrepreneur. “Often we spend too much time on things that aren’t really important. Focus on what matters.”
Here’s another morning success builder: make your bed before leaving home. This survey found that bed-makers tend to be more adventurous, confident and sociable. In addition, Tim Ferriss says it helps remind him that little things matter.
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Starting the day off right is important for everyone – but even more so for lawyers, whose days are rarely typical and often get thrown off track by urgent calls, case crises and client demands.
Here are 5 tips, compliments of Patel and Entrepreneur, for getting off on the right foot.
- Get moving early. “Morning exercise gets your blood flowing and gives you a boost of energy for the day,” writes Patel. “Exercise also releases feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These may buffer feelings of stress and anxiety and help relieve symptoms of depression. Some people find that fresh air first thing in the morning brightens their mood all day. Try a brisk walk, a run around the block or a trip to the gym. Other people may prefer to start their day with a home workout, such as stretching or yoga.”
- Stick to your schedule as much as possible. “Cut out multitasking and reject unneeded distractions, like checking and returning email. Do one thing at a time. Keep your morning uncomplicated and as stress-free as possible.”
- Practice gratitude. “Actively thinking about things you’re grateful for, in turn, makes you feel grateful. It’s a positive thought loop that’s easy to practice and has beneficial effects on your physical and mental health. Today is a gift, and you can do with it what you will. You can choose to make the most of it. You can choose happiness. See the possibilities of the day before you.”
- Start with a clean slate. “Each day is a new beginning – a chance to move forward and not let past failures weigh you down. Yesterday may have been a rotten day, but that doesn’t mean today has to be. Happy people start their day with an affirmation. They declare from the outset how they want their day to go. A positive morning affirmation can be a powerful way to start your day feeling confident and ready for success.”
- Get enough sleep. “If you aren’t getting enough sleep at night, you’re probably starting your day drained and irritated. It’s hard to have a positive outlook when all you want to do is crawl back into bed. A good night’s sleep is like a magical elixir for your physical health. Research has shown that sleep is one of the most effective ways to improve concentration, strengthen the immune system and improve a person’s mood and feeling of well-being. Not getting enough sleep impairs memory and increases levels of stress hormones. Set a sleep schedule for yourself and stick to it.”
What are some things you do to get a strong start on the day?
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