Your alarm goes off. It is still dark outside. You sit on the edge of your bed motionless like an extra from The Walking Dead. Contemplating the fundamental reasoning for even having a job and waking up before the Sun knocks on your window….
As a young professional, being productive is one of the hardest things to sustain over days, weeks and months. Mid-day naps after class and sleeping in past 9:00 am during the week is a thing of the past. But now you're expected to sit at a desk, stay engaged, follow through and articulate concepts from first thing in the morning until 5:00 pm and beyond. The reality of “Adulting” can be cruel my friends. Here are a few tips that will have other YPs wondering why you always seem so "Charged Up".
Wake up: A lot of young people struggle with getting up. I know I hate waking up early, but I can do it at a drop of a hat because my body is use to it. Waking up early is a great way to get a head start on your day. Even if you don’t have to get at work until 9:00 am. Wake up an half hour or hour before you need to and get one thing done in the morning. Maybe checking emails, maybe doing something around the house. A lot of professionals with families use this time to get a workout in.( 29 Successful People Who Wake Up Early)
Fitness: Working out is huge to overall wellness and brain power (Forbes). Even if it isn’t everyday. Try breaking a legitimate sweat 3 times a week. What worked for me was going 3 times a week. Working out during the week days are hard with long hours, cooking, favorite TV shows, etc. What worked for me was trying to get one night during the week to get a workout in (run, lift, pickup basketball, Flag Football). Then on the weekends getting a good sweat going both Saturday and Sunday. Usually in the late morning before Football comes on. Staying in shape and getting the blood flowing helps get your brain flowing and improves energy throughout the day.
On And Off Time: You can’t be doing something all the time. You have to give yourself an off switch or trigger when it is time to put the work email away and enjoy your company. If you try to come home and just do things aimlessly until you fall asleep. You will probably find yourself watching TV, on Facebook, little bit of work, Instagram, little work, Twitter, home screen, back to Twitter, then little bit of work. But give yourself a time to unplug from distractions and do work from time A to time B. After that, put the work away and enjoy your company. We often trick ourselves by saying we are “busy” doing work and only really were marginally productive and consistently stressed.
Agenda For The Day: Having a clear set To-Do list for the day is crucial. You have to give yourself order and priorities. Regardless if it’s for the whole day or just the next hour until you go to lunch. I have Post-it notes all over my desk at work with visible task to do. I will even go down to a list I need to get done for the hour.
The work day is all about going to sleep with a “win”. There are going to be ups and downs during the day that you can’t control. But having predetermined, controllable “wins” for the day will keep your work/life balance happy and productive. Declaring your “wins” for the day will allow you to unplug from work and come back recharged and as productive as ever.