If the majority of your mornings start with you crying into the pillow as you sucker punch your alarm, then a couple of things need to change. It's totally possible to start your morning excited for work — all it takes is a little willingness to become more intentional and mindful on your part.
Even if you don't have your dream career just yet and punch your time card at an entry-level position, you can still find the silver lining of growing your skills and credentials each day. But if you wake up with a mental countdown that ticks down to the freedom of Saturday morning, you'll be hard pressed to find the excitement of walking into the office that day.
While our careers can sometimes be trying and definitely demand a lot of hard work, it's also worth noting that each of us are building our way towards something exciting. Once you highlight that and focus on it, your mornings will completely change in tune. Below are 11 tips on how to be excited for work during the mornings. From listening to industry podcasts that'll jolt you into brainstorms to focusing on networking first thing in the AM, our mornings have a world of potential.
1. Start It Off Learning
Get excited about the workday by jumping into the morning learning something exciting about your industry. "Oftentimes the nuggets you pick up during this time will affect how you get work done that day. Perhaps reading one chapter in a book changes your view on how you should do things or an inspirational quote gets you all excited on your future," time management expert Thanh Pham from self development site Pick the Brain suggested. You can read brainstorming articles as you sip your morning coffee, read tips on Twitter as you wait your bagel to pop up, or just pin inspiring images that relate to your work to get your mind moving.
2. Get A Fun Coffee Mug
The majority of us live for our first sips of coffee, so to make that one glorious moment even more amazing, deck it out with a fun coffee mug. "Spruce up your routine with something that’ll make you smile, laugh, or even entertain you while you sip," Associate Editor Alyse Kalish from career development site The Muse suggested. It's just another thing that'll help pep you up.
3. Plan Your Day's Goals Ahead
If you wake up knowing what needs to be done before noon, you'll hit the ground running rather than scrambling. "Plan what you need to accomplish in advance. If you start your day knowing exactly what needs to get done you're more likely to feel motivated from the start," Sarah Morgan, a Small Business Digital Strategist, shares in an email interview with Bustle. Morgan also points out that focusing on no more than three top priority items is more motivating than looking at a never-ending to-do list trying to figure out where to start — so keep it short!
4. Start Your Day With Things You Enjoy
While it might be tempting to reach for your emails the moment you slide yourself into slippers, fight the urge. Instead, start your morning doing things you genuinely enjoy. "The first hour of my day includes walking my dog, cooking breakfast, and a 10 minute meditation using the Headspace app. Beginning every day in a positive way helps me to feel more focused and creative than if I were to roll out of bed and head straight to work," Morgan shares. Bookmark the first 20 to 30 minutes of your morning for some "me" time, and you'll feel so much more excited about rolling out of bed.
5. Start It By Networking
Rather than spending your morning watching TV grumpily as you nibble on toast, go and network over coffee — whether that's in person or online. Not only will you feel productive knowing you're building connections for your career, you'll also start off the day brainstorming. "Not only did I come into the workday with ideas swimming through my head, I was in a much better mood than if my only morning social interaction had been with my grumpy neighbor on the subway," career writer Erin Greenawald from career development site The Muse explained about her own experience. It's a much better option.
6. Listen To Industry Podcasts
Rather than shuffling off to brush your teeth first thing in the morning, roll over and put on an inspiring industry podcast before slipping out of bed. "The right podcast will be able to teach you something new, inform a challenge you’re working on, or just get you thinking — so why not do this right from the start?" Greenwald offered. It'll be background noise for you as you get on with your morning routine.
7. Tackle Something Easy
You get a little more jazzed about the day when you accomplish something, no matter how small. It's almost like a mind trick. So tackle something easy right from the start to trick yourself into a productive attitude. "Check off something easy first. Maybe it's scheduling a few tweets or creating social media images. Or maybe it's as simple as unloading the dishwasher," Morgan suggests. You'll start off the day feeling like a go-getter.
8. Pay Attention To Your Energy
If you really hate jumping into administrative tasks first thing in the morning, don't do it. Focus on something creative and brainstorm-y instead. Or alternatively, if you feel like your brain is moving at five miles per hour, do something that lets you move on autopilot. If you listen to your energy and do what feels easiest in the morning, you won't dread it as much. "If you take a moment to think about it, you’ll probably realize that you are better at doing certain tasks at certain times. For example, my creative energy is highest in the morning, so that’s when I do my writing each day," James Clear, a behavior science expert from Entrepreneur explained. It lets you accomplish more that way.
9. Figure Out What You Want To Achieve That Day
If you give each day a purpose, it all becomes more exciting. Focus on whether you want to finish a project, make a valuable networking connection, or brainstorm pitches you're passionate about. "Now that you know the outcome that you want, break it down backwards in actionable steps. Once you have the steps, decide which ones you are going to do first and write them down for you to do today," Pham offered. If you do this each morning, each day will have an exciting purpose that pushes you forward.
10. Think Of Your Accomplishments
Before you hop onto your to-do list, take a moment to think of this week's accomplishments as a way to motivate yourself. "This seems like an easy, if not natural, thing to do—but there are many people who don’t stop to appreciate how far they’ve come before they start rushing to the next task on their to-do list," lifestyle writer Sammy Nickalls at self development site Inspiyr. You'll see that all your hard work really is adding up to something, and push you to keep doing more each day.
11. Keep A Collage By Your Bed
This one might sound a little cheesy, but having inspiring images stacked in one place can really jolt you into action each morning. "Cut out or print pictures of everything that inspires you — quotes, images, people, whatever gets you going. Make a collage, whether it’s tiny or massive, and put it next to your bed," Nickalls suggested. That way every morning you wake up and see all the people, projects, and ideas that inspire the hell out of you. It'll be hard not to want to jump into action after seeing that.
While mornings might be tough, they don't have to be dreadful. Start getting motivated!
Images: @inkwellpress/Instagram; Bustle