Being a designer here at Flint Digital is my first real full-time job, and it’s been a fantastic experience. However, adjusting to a regular 9-5 schedule has taken considerable effort. For the first few months, my typical Monday morning involved sleeping through all my alarms and waking up in a panic with only 20 minutes to get myself ready and commute to the office. I was frequently late for our routine Monday meeting, and starting my days in such a frazzled, frustrated state was wearing me out… something had to give.

Timeliness and getting enough physical activity were the two main challenges I encountered working in an office environment; spending so many hours sitting at a computer was more taxing than I expected, and I needed to counteract all that stationary time. I finally realized the most obvious solution to both my problems, but it took a lot of willpower nonetheless: wake up early. I started waking up early enough to allow 2-3 hours of leisure before work, and now I rarely oversleep and I feel more energized during the day. If you’re always rushing to the office, or taking a while to ramp up once you get there, implementing a similar morning routine can help.

Benefits of Waking Up Early

Take Your Time

Getting ready for work includes tending to your outer appearance, which can offer valuable personal time especially if your workdays are chaotic. For me, being able to spend time on my makeup and outfit in the morning directly improves the day ahead. Plus, it’s simply polite to present yourself well in public.

Outfit
 

Eat Breakfast

The importance of eating breakfast is well known, so I’ll skip the explanation. Making toast or oatmeal sure beats grabbing a cookie while running out the door.

coffee
 

“I earn my living behind a screen, so I do my best to make an effort to completely unplug throughout the day. One of the best times to do this is in the morning. I force myself to drink a cup of tea and eat breakfast before checking in digitally. Even if you’re not behind a screen all day, I’d encourage you to adopt this practice for your general sanity.” -from Forget About Goals by our lead designer, Alex.

I’ve adopted Alex’s practice and I advocate it vehemently.

Exercise

When you sit in an office for extended periods of time, regular exercise becomes vital. The guys at Flint sometimes take off early and go skiing or biking (perks of living in Park City), but what about those of us who prefer keeping both feet firmly on the ground? Morning exercise has been my solution. Getting your heart rate up in the morning increases your general health and ability to focus throughout the day. I do yoga because it enhances flexibility and core strength, which drastically improves posture.

yoga
 

Work on personal projects

Immersing yourself in interesting projects allows you to take a break from the daily routine. Getting out of bed becomes substantially easier when you’re eager to work on something you enjoy.

projects
 

In conclusion, by allowing time for activities in the morning not only are you more likely to be on time, but you also break the habit of groggily dragging yourself to the office, ultimately giving you a more positive outlook on your 9-5. Although altering your sleep schedule can be a struggle for the first few days, stay dedicated and you may find that having extra time is well worth the effort. Give it a try, and feel free to leave a comment with any tips or discoveries you made.

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