When running a business, it may seem like there are never enough hours in the day. Tapping into the power of mornings, a time of day when there are less demands, might be the key to increasing your productivity.
For 15 years, Starbucks President Michelle Gaas has set her alarm for 4:30 a.m. to go running. Gretchen Ruben, popular author of The Happiness Project wakes up at 6 a.m. and works for an hour before her family rises. Time-management expert Laura Vanderkam highlights what makes mornings special and how we can use them more efficiently in her book What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. Here are a few benefits to getting out of bed earlier.
You are less likely to get distracted in the morning. An entrepreneur's day fills up fast. If you wait until the afternoon or evening to do something meaningful for yourself such as exercising or reading, you're likely to push it off the to-do list altogether. “There are going to be reasons why you can't tackle a personal priority at 4 p.m. -- things have a lot less likelihood of coming up at 6 a.m.," says Vanderkam.
You have more willpower early in the day. Even if you aren't a morning person, you may have more willpower in the early hours than later in the day. "Willpower is like a muscle [that] becomes fatigued with over-use," says Vanderkam. During the course of the day as you're dealing with difficult people, making decisions and battling traffic, you use up your willpower, leaving you feeling depleted toward the end of the day.
Mornings give you the opportunity to set a positive tone for the day. If you've ever slept in past your alarm clock or forgotten your kids' lunches on the counter, you know that starting off the day with a failure can bring down your mood and affect your productivity at work. Vanderkam says waking up earlier allows you to start the day with a victory and set the tone for a happier and more productive day.
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