Searching for ways to boost your professional development and help yourself be more successful? Consider changing your morning routine so that you can use this time to get more done. After all, mornings are a great time to focus. You’re (hopefully) rested after a full night’s sleep, and you’re not yet dealing with a day thrown off course by interruptions and other productivity obstacles.
We’re not necessarily advocating that you need to see the sun rise each day to get more done, but it might help to examine your current morning routine and identify areas of improvement. Although you can certainly use the extra time to catch up on tasks and projects, this is also a prime time to focus on your professional development and where your career is headed.
Ready to make the most of your mornings? Here’s how:
Alter your wake-up time. Assess your current routine. Do you wake up with plenty of time to finish tasks and help get your family out the door? Or are your mornings jam-packed with breakfast requests, last minute hunts for homework and a general sense of feeling rushed? You may want to change when you wake up. Start slowly — see what 30 extra minutes can do. After that, you may want to add an extra hour. Make sure you adjust your bedtime for the earlier start, too. You certainly don’t want to sacrifice sleep, which is a quick way to send your productivity into a nosedive.
Catch up on reading. The quiet early morning hours can be a peaceful, uninterrupted time to catch up on your reading list. Maybe you have a collection of industry-related blogs that you like to peruse. Or take some time to read the newspaper, magazines or scroll through pertinent headlines on sites like LinkedIn. Not only will you stay informed, but you’ll likely find inspiration for your own career and projects that you can put into action.
Strategize. It’s incredibly easy to become caught up in the demands of your daily to-do list, moving from one task to another without stopping to examine the bigger picture. Instead, take some time in the morning to strategize. How’s your career progressing? Do you have a professional development plan that you’re following? What can you do to realize your career goals and help yourself be more successful? Once you’ve identified the answers to these and other strategic questions, make time to revisit your thoughts on a regular basis to see how you’re progressing — or what you need to do to get yourself back on track.
Build your skills. If you’re interested in expanding your skillset, consider completing an online class or training and focus on the work first thing in the morning. Self-paced courses give you the flexibility to finish them as your schedule allows. Plus, if you can carve out some time to concentrate when you first wake up, your educational endeavor will be less susceptible to evening distractions and fatigue.
No matter how you decide to refine your early morning routine, keep this valuable tip in mind: start slowly. Don’t expect to make huge changes overnight — or even in a few weeks. Make gradual adjustments to your existing habits and tackle projects or goals one at a time so that you don’t become overwhelmed or overworked. Even devoting a few extra minutes a day to your professional development can make a big difference.
What’s your morning routine? Have you made any changes to get more out of your early hours?
Image by DeaPeaJay via Creative Commons