Don’t mornings mean hitting the snooze and leaping out of bed at the last minute?! Of course, and that is what 69% of us do. However, how we start the day influences our well being and productivity for the rest of the day.
Nancy Rothbard of Harvard and Steffanie Wilk of Ohio State University found that the start-of-the-day mood can last longer than we might think—and has an important effect on job performance. They studied the moods of customer service representatives (CSRs) as they started the day, how they viewed work events such as customer interactions throughout the day, and their mood during the day after these customer interactions. How a CRS started the day was the mood that stayed with them throughout the day. For those CRS who started out the day in a calm and happy mood, customer interactions tended to enhance those positive feelings. Those who started the day in a bad mood did not really climb out of it even after interacting with positive customers. Quality and quality of work was also better among those who reported more positive feelings. How Your Morning Mood Affects Your Whole Workday
Owning our mornings means we start our day in meaningful activity. To have time, we need to wake up earlier, but that does not mean we should cut back on sleep, it really means we go to bed earlier. Over 60% of Americans hardly ever wake up feeling energized or rested, according to a 2020 survey conducted by RestoreZ. We are already tired so moving our bedtime earlier is essential to preserving sleep and having a morning routine.
To wake up earlier …”we’re trying to not just shift your bedtime, but actually shift your entire circadian clock to be earlier,” said Kimberly Fenn, a cognitive neuroscientist. This is a gradual process, say 15 minutes earlier to bed every night to allow our bodies to adapt.
Now that we are up, bright-eyed and bushy tailed with time before we have to be at work, what do we do with that time? And here is the beauty of this – we get to create a routine that makes us happy, that is meaningful to us.
For some people a morning routine may be five minutes – a glass of water, an affirmation or intention for the day. For others, a routine can be an hour – or even two – and include meditation, journaling, exercise – and a really good breakfast. A morning routine is about priming our brains for positivity. For women with children at home, caretaking obligations or lots of overtime, the five minute morning routine may be perfect. The opportunity is to begin the day in a way that brings positivity to our day – and maybe even joy!