Daily schedule that just doesn’t work

If your schedule was a sentence, every single word of it would be written incorrectly, because that’s exactly what’s happening to your schedule the moment you wake up.The phone is a priority when the day starts and essential things like breakfast and gym are pushed back to the end of the schedule. Changing your morning schedule will help to change you for the rest of the day to help you become happier and more productive. We represent Business Insider’s way of quitting old you and bringing the new fresh start to your day. Start today.

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6:30 a.m. Hitting the snooze button

There’s nothing quite so delightful as a few more minutes of sleep in between alarms. But as sleep expert Timothy Morgenthaler told Business Insider’s Jessica Orwig, “Most sleep specialists think that snooze alarms are not a good idea.” That’s partly because, if you fall back into a deep sleep after you hit the snooze button, you’re entering a sleep cycle you definitely won’t be able to finish. So you’ll likely wake up groggy instead of refreshed. A better bet? Figure out how much sleep you need on a nightly basis and make sure to get that amount. Easier said than done — but you’ll be glad you did.

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7:00 a.m. Checking email as soon as you wake up

If you sleep near your phone (and most Americans do), it’s easy to roll over and start mindlessly scrolling through your inbox. Don’t do it. As Julie Morgenstern, author of the book “Never Check Email in the Morning,” told The Huffington Post, if you start your morning this way, “you’ll never recover.” “Those requests and those interruptions and those unexpected surprises and those reminders and problems are endless,” she said. In fact, she advises waiting a full hour before wading into your inbox: “There is very little that cannot wait a minimum of 59 minutes.”

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7:45 a.m. Drinking coffee while getting ready for work

If you think you can’t function until you’ve downed a cup of joe, think again. Your body naturally produces higher amounts of the stress hormone cortisol, which regulates energy, between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. So for most people, the best time to drink coffee is after 9:30 a.m. If you consume caffeine before then, your body will start adjusting by producing less cortisol in the early morning — meaning you’ll be creating the problem you fear.

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8:00 a.m. Not eating breakfast

Business Insider’s Rachel Gillett spoke with registered dietitian Lisa DeFazio, who told her that your first meal of the day jump-starts your metabolism and replenishes blood-sugar levels so you can focus and be productive for the rest of the day. Otherwise, you could feel irritable and have a hard time concentrating.  DeFazio recommended some easy breakfasts that are perfect for the workday, including fiber-filled oatmeal and protein-packed smoothies.

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9:45 a.m. Showing up to work late

A study cited by The Huffington Post found that bosses tend to see employees who come in later as less conscientious and give them lower performance ratings — even if those employees leave later, too. It’s not exactly fair, but it appears to be the current reality. So try to get to the office as early as possible.

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9:50 a.m. Doing your easiest tasks first

Research is mixed on whether willpower and self-control decrease as the day goes on. But even if you believe that you can summon your mental energy at will, it makes sense to tackle your most difficult tasks first thing, since you never know what demands will pop up later on. Some people call this strategy “eating the frog,” based on a quote from Mark Twain: “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

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11:00 a.m. Trying to empty your inbox

Everyone’s got a different email personality. If you’re the kind that needs a completely empty inbox in order to feel calm and organized, we get it. But consider only answering what’s important and absolutely urgent. Time-management expert and author Laura Vanderkam advises against trying to process every email in your inbox, since it’ll take a lot of time and energy that might be better spent on other tasks. As Vanderkam writes in “I Know How She Does It“: “[Y]ou will never reach the bottom of your inbox. Better to realize that anything you haven’t gotten to after a week or so will have either gone away or been thrust back upon you by follow-up messages or calls. You can probably stop thinking about it. Earth will not crash into the sun.”

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12:30 p.m. Eating lunch at your desk

First of all, it can be gross. Second of all, research suggests that taking the time to prepare and eat meals with your coworkers can facilitate team bonding and even improve performance. And third of all, taking any kind of break can be highly restorative and boost your productivity later on.

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1:30 p.m. Listening to music while working

While you might feel more productive when you listen to music while doing focused work, you’re probably not really. Business Insider previously spoke with neuroscientist and musician Daniel Levitin, who cited a growing body of research suggesting that, in almost every case, your performance on intellectual tasks (think reading or writing) suffers considerably when you listen to music. The exception is when you’re performing tasks that are repetitive or monotonous, such as when you’re working on an assembly line or driving for long periods of time. In that case, listening to music can perk you up. Levitin said that a better bet is to listen to music for about 10 to 15 minutes before you start doing focused work, which can put you in a better mood and relax you.

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5:30 p.m. Skipping the gym

We know: You’ve had a harrowing day at work, and all you want to do is change into pajamas, order takeout, and maybe watch some Netflix before nodding off. But if you can sneak in a workout beforehand, your body and mind will thank you. The many potential benefits of physical activity include fewer symptoms of anxiety and depression, stronger bones, a lower risk of heart disease, and an easier time losing weight. At the same time, lecturing yourself about these health effects won’t do you much good. Instead, as behavioral economist Dan Ariely told Business Insider, put a time on your calendar and trust that you’ll enjoy the experience. Once you actually get started working out, Ariely said, thoughts of getting stronger and looking better kind of melt away as you take in the sensation of your breath, the music coming through your headphones, and the sound of your feet hitting the ground.

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8:30 p.m. Eating dinner too late

As Rebecca Harrington reported for Tech Insider, eating too late can affect your sleep quality and your ability to maintain a healthy weight. It’s generally best to stop eating (including snacking) about three hours before bedtime. Meaning if you go to sleep at 10 p.m., you should stop eating by 7. Harrington reports that, if you’re still feeling hungry late at night, one strategy is to try eating more of your calories earlier in the day — which is linked to weight loss. No wonder why an old proverb says, “eat like a king in the morning, like a prince at noon, and like a pauper at night.”

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9:00 p.m. Spending hours on social media every night

Let’s confess scrolling through your Facebook page has never been a relaxing job to do, even though you’re literally not doing any physical or brain work for it. However, research suggests that “passive” Facebook use — a.k.a. perusing other people’s updates without posting anything or messaging anyone — can put us in a sour mood. This is making you more tired and actually causing mood changes because of taking from your sleep and spending it on just nothing more important.

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11:00 p.m. Checking your email before bed

It is not a tale or a stereotype that checking your phone before sleep really affects your hurt. It really does, you should really care about it. The blue light emitted from digital devices can interfere with the production of the sleep hormone melatonin, which makes it harder to fall and stay asleep. If you’re having trouble breaking this habit, take a tip from Vanderkam and set one priority for every weekday evening, whether it’s a gym class, taking a walk in the park or maybe just hanging around with a friend.

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