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We all know the feeling. The alarm clock goes off, and you know: Monday is here.

You hit the snooze button as many times as possible and take off running to work, just barely making it to your desk on time. You may not know it, but having that constant on-the-go feeling can actually hurt your attitude and your output. Does this sound like you?  Don’t worry; you’re only 3 steps away from a sunnier work day!

Set your alarm a little early

Let’s face it; waking up isn’t going to be any easier if you wait that extra twenty minutes. And sometimes all it takes is twenty minutes to change your morning routine from crazy to calm. Instead of rushing to get ready and out the door, you could have time to check your email, watch more of the morning news, or just take a longer shower. How refreshing is that?

Completely doubting that this is an achievable life change for you? You’d be surprised; you can actually train yourself to be an early riser.

My favorite morning ritual is getting up early enough to get to Starbucks and make it to the office before we open. It’s quiet and so much easier to think and start my day on the right foot.

You are what when you eat

The most valuable thing you can do in the morning is eat a good breakfast. I know it’s not for everyone, but you should at least try to get something beneficial into your body before you start your day. Not only does it jumpstart your metabolism, but it makes you more positive and alert (your coworkers will thank you).

If you’re still a breakfast hater, I’ll move on to my next energizing eating habit: Small meals throughout the day (or healthy snacking). You hear about how it’s good for a healthy weight, but did you know it also regulates your body’s insulin, which helps you have a constant flow of energy? You can wear your skinny jeans and be ready to take on the day. Watch out world.

 Our Director of Marketing, Austin, likes to start his day with a smoothie for breakfast. “An early morning, a tough workout, and a tasty smoothie to fuel my day are engrained in my routine. A day without any one of those just feels off to me,” he says.

Take brain breaks even when you’re pressed for time

Everyone knows that crazed feeling that only appears when you’re on a roll: You are confident, focused; you got this! Then you reach the end of that incredible thought, and hit a mental brick wall. This is the time for a brain break.

When you work on a project for an extended amount of time, you’re bound to start getting burnt out. Feeling bored equals being unfocused: The enemy of the workplace. Even though it may seem like stopping and taking a breather can throw you off, it actually can help you reevaluate things and feel renewed once you start back up.

Our CEO, Chris Edmonds, has been a connoisseur of authentic Japanese green tea for years and he’s slowly converting the whole office. In fact, everyday around 2 pm, many of our team members take a short brain break for tea time (Bonus tip: they’re more fun with company).

Bonus Tip: If there’s nothing you like about your job- Look for a new one

I know, work is work. It isn’t supposed to feel like you’re at Disneyland, BUT it is so important that you at least mildly enjoy aspects of what you do. Adults spend around one-third of their lives at work, so I’m thinking it’s pretty important that you don’t wake up dreading the site of your desk.

Think about what makes you happy. Is it interacting with people? Working where you can be creative? Find something that makes you excited and go for it! The worst that can happen is you get turned down. Even though that can be a blow to the confidence level, just listen to Aaliyah: “If at first you don’t succeed, you can dust it off and try again.”

I’ll be honest with you: These steps were not tested in a lab, and are not endorsed by any celebrities. BUT I’ll do you one better; they were tested and proven by real people with real 9-5 sit-at-your-desk jobs. Ok, fine; maybe they were just tested by me, but trying one of these tips is going to make your work week a little less stressful and a little more “I can do this!”

Cindy Knebel

About the Author

Cindy Knebel
Cindy is a former Element 74 Project Manager and contributing author for the Element 74 blog.

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