Falling Back into Good Habits
The leaves are changing, the snow is already falling in many areas around Washington, and it’s time to set our clocks back an hour. Unlike Spring, when we scramble to adjust to the loss of an hour, fall brings us the gift of an extra 60 minutes. November 5th is technically the only day that we get an additional hour, but what if you still woke up at the time your body is accustomed to? What would you do with that extra hour? Instead of waking up at 6am this week, try waking up at 5am. Your body won’t know the difference, and you can spend this hour creating habits that will be beneficial in your personal and professional life.
Exercise: Why wait until New Years to start an exercise routine? This week, start a morning habit that will not only benefit your physical health, but also your stress level and productivity. Although the weather can make it difficult to walk, run or bike into work, doing 30 minutes of yoga at home or hitting the gym for an hour are easy ways to add physical activity to your morning.
Get ahead: Take an hour in the morning (before you get into work) to check your emails, review your schedule and gather any paperwork that you need for the day. By taking time to complete these tasks, you will be ready to hit the ground running as soon as you get to work. Being prepared the moment you walk into the office is sure to reduce stress and allow you to accomplish more in the first hour or two of your workday.
Eat breakfast: How many times do you run out of the door in the morning without eating? If you are a “too busy for breakfast” type, take this time change as an opportunity to make a habit of eating before leaving the house. Making crepes every morning is a bit of a stretch for most of us, but boiling eggs and cutting up some fruit is sure to give you more energy and boost your focus throughout the day.
Make the bed: It’s simple and takes less than ten minutes, but this habit can have a meaningful impact on the rest of your day. According to the author of The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg, there is a correlation between making your bed in the morning and efficiency throughout the day. Essentially, making your bed creates a snowball effect on your productivity, building and gaining momentum as you work.
Run errands: Make your day less hectic by checking at least one item off of your to do list before you start the workday. Although there are some errands that can’t be completed until later in the day, checking off simple and time consuming errands such as filling up at the gas station or ordering your groceries online can start your day with a sense of accomplishment.
When all else fails, enjoy that extra hour of sleep. We are approaching cold and flu season, and catching up on sleep may be the best way for you to stay productive in the upcoming months. No matter how you spend your extra time, use it wisely and to your benefit.