Tuesday, December 25, 2012

10 Things Morning People do to Remain Successful

Being a successful modular home factory owner, a sales rep or a new home builder involves traits that anyone can emulate but few even try.  

The self-professed "morning people" reported feeling happier and healthier than night owls. Researchers hypothesize that one of the reasons could be because society caters to a morning person's schedule.

It's certainly true that the working world does. Working "9-to-5" is more than an expression, but a standard shift for many Americans. It also stands to reason that those who like rising with the sun are also the most productive employees in the office.

Do you want to be more like them? Then take note of the tasks these high-functioning, productive, and more awake employees have completed before lunch:

1. They make a work to-do list the day before. Many swear by having a written to-do list, but not everyone agrees on when you need to compose it. The opportune time to plan a day's tasks is the night before. Some people like to do the to-do schedule in the morning, but then they might have already lost office time writing it out. It helps to do that to-do schedule the night before. It also will help you sleep better.

2. They get a full night's rest. Speaking of sleeping better ... lack of sleep affects your concentration level, and therefore, your productivity. Whatever your gold standard is for a "good night's rest," strive to meet it every work night. Most health experts advise getting a minimum eight hours of shut-eye each night.

3. They avoid hitting snooze. Petitioning for nine more minutes, then nine more, then another nine is a slippery slope that leads to falling back asleep and falling behind on your morning prep. Ultimately it also leads to lateness.

4. They exercise. Schedule your exercise class for the a.m. instead of after work. Exercise improves mood and energy levels.

5. They eat breakfast. Food provides the fuel you'll need to concentrate, and breakfast is particularly important since it recharges you after you've fasted all night. Try munching on something light and healthy in the morning, and avoid processed carbs that could zap your energy. Skip the McDonald’s “Two for $3 Egg McMuffins.

6. They start their workday on time. If you’re a sales rep on a road trip, make sure that your first appointment is as early as you can schedule it. Waiting until 10:00 AM or worse, 1:00 PM to get started zaps all that early morning energy.

7. They tackle the big projects first. You can dive right into work upon arriving in the office, since you made your to-do list the night before. Start with the hardest tasks. Don't jump into meaningless projects when you're at your mental peak for the day.

8. They avoid morning meetings. If you have any say on meeting times, schedule them in the afternoon. You should use your prime skills during the prime time of the day. An employer who schedules morning meetings could rob his or her employees of their peak performance, and ultimately cost the company. The exception to this is if your meeting is the most important task of the day. Sometimes you have to schedule a crucial meeting, or a client meeting, in which case you'd want to plan for a time when employees are at their peak.

9. They allot time for following up on messages. Discern between mindless email/voicemail checking and conducting important business. Checking your inbox every couple of minutes takes time away from important tasks. Instead, set a schedule to check and respond to email in increments. Consider doing so at the top of each hour, to ensure that clients and colleagues receive prompt responses from you.

10. They take a mid-morning break. Get up and stretch your legs. Or stay seated and indulge in a little Internet surfing. It's actually good to zone out on Facebook and Twitter or send a personal text message or two. You should take 10-minute breaks occasionally. Companies that ban any kind of Facebook [use], texting, or personal calls can find it will be detrimental. Those practices increase employee satisfaction. Just be sure not to abuse the privilege. The best employees will respect their employer's time, and the worst-performing employees will find a way to waste time even if the company forbids personal Internet use.

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