Productivity Upper: Rise and Shine (With The Sun)

rise-and-shine[T]hose who started out each day happy or calm usually stayed that way throughout the day…people who started the day in a terrible mood didn’t really climb out of it, and felt even worse by the end of the day.…Most importantly, we discovered strong performance effects when it came to quality of work and productivity…Employees who were in a negative mood tended to take more frequent breaks from their duties to cope with the stress and get themselves through the day. These small breaks piled up, leading to a greater than 10% loss of productivity.” *

Life is a series of days strung together. How each day goes has a lot to do with how each day starts. And, how each day starts has everything to do with how we wake up. I’m saying WOW because who even thinks about waking up? We think a lot about going to sleep. In fact, sometimes we think so much about going to sleep – that we can’t sleep at all. For more on this, see Arianna Huffington’s recent book on sleep, but not so much on waking up.

The National Institutes of Health tells us to wake up with care. Not any old time, not any old way is the best time or way to wake up. If you set an alarm that goes off in the dark, you risk getting up in the wrong part of your sleep cycle, which can make you feel no good for anything for the rest of the day. The recommendation is, therefore, to wake up with some sun, “which energizes and orients us in remarkable ways that science is just beginning to understand.”  If natural sunlight is not an option for you, no worries; you can treat yourself to a wake-up light, to gradually bring yourself into a room filled with morning light. Lately, I’ve begun to drop the shade from the top before going to sleep so the room fills with sun to help me gradually wake up, and a bit earlier than I otherwise might. It’s true what they say about how much better that feels.

Clients** typically report how much better they feel – and how much better they do in their lives – when they start to wake up with the sun. There is something about being in the world before it gets crazy noisy, something that nourishes them into a happier, more productive space for the rest of the day. Some have enjoyed Hal Elrod’s Morning Miracle on how to transform your mental, emotional, spiritual, physical life – before 8am.

Some are reaping the benefits of a 5-minute mindfulness exercise I give them, The Breathing Room, to start their day. Even simpler: Begin to notice the thought with which you awaken each morning. If it is less than inspiring, replace it, graft onto it a more constructive and uplifting intention to set you up for the day, day after day, for the rest of your life. Take control of your mornings. Take control of your life. Give yourself a Good Morning every morning. Practice, practice, practice…and see what happens.

To work on this or something else, would love to hear from you:

Email:  Madelaine Weiss

* How Your Morning Mood Affects Your Whole Workday. Nancy Rothbard.

**Examples and illustrations are fictional composites inspired by but not depicting nor referring to any actual specific person in my practice or life experience.

Copyright © 2017. Madelaine Claire Weiss. All rights reserved.


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