My mornings often begin the same way. Timed to Rossini’s William Tell Overture No. 3, I slowly wake to the sun peeking through the window. I sleepily blink my eyes several times to adjust to the light. I yawn. I stretch. I waste at least three minutes contemplating going back to sleep for five more minutes, when I wisely decide to consult my clock. And to my shock and surprise, I discover I’m late! Again! Everything after that is a frantic blur. Rushed and stressed, I get ready in a fury. I inevitably have to hunt for my keys, and at least one misbehaving, runaway shoe.
After a frenzied search, keys triumphantly in hand and matching shoes on feet (You’ll never escape me badly behaving shoe! Never!), I’m out the door. There isn’t time for breakfast, coffee, or even time to pack the healthy lunch I had planned. Exhausted from my morning routine, groggy from a lack of caffeine, and grumpy from hunger, I start my day off on the wrong foot. Everything’s harder after that. It’s difficult to get started. It’s difficult to focus. I feel behind and rushed for the entire day. And on the days I find myself running behind, I can’t help but ask myself, are my bad morning habits hindering my career? Could I be more and do more if I started the day differently?
Maybe your morning routine isn’t plagued by wandering shoes or misplaced keys. Instead, maybe you struggle to get the kids to school or daycare before you head to work. Maybe you have to fight the morning traffic, the weather, or your dog that refuses to go outside, to get to the office on time. Whatever your morning routine, if you’re not energized and ready for the day to start, it may be time for a change.
If you find yourself struggling to get to work on time, break bad habits and create new routines to help make your morning run smoother. Set your alarm to go off a few minutes earlier. If that doesn’t help, try moving it away from the bed to keep from hitting the ever-dangerous snooze button. Pack your – and the kids’ – lunch the night before. Lay the kids clothes out before bedtime. Try to get to bed earlier with a schedule you can stick to. In the morning, open your curtains or blinds first thing to let the light in. Buy a coffeemaker you can program so it’s piping hot and fresh when you wake up.
How you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. So, find ways to start your day off on the right foot to keep your career on the track to success. I know that my shoes and I are going to.