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Written by Tyler Wetzel on Monday, November 04, 2013
“The early bird catches the worm” is a common idiom used in the United States. The cryptic meaning behind this is if you wake up and get to work early, you will succeed. As cheesy as that sounds, there’s probably more truth to this silly statement then one might believe. Time-management expert Laura Vanderkam agrees in her book What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast (Portfolio Trade, 2013) where she highlights how early risers are more productive, creative and less stressed then their later rising counterparts.
Studies suggest that getting up early can yield reprieve from our day-to-day problems. Seeing that there are less distractions in the morning you have more time to think, and contemplate your existence. Moreover, you are less inclined to postpone or blow something off in the morning. It’s probably wise to avoid checking your email for the first hour or so. And you can’t skip another leg day at the gym due to the equinox Dom Mazzetti. Seriously, nice try.
With all that free time, you can get more things done. Finishing tasks in the morning frees up time for relaxation or extracurricular activities. Having a fresh mind, free of distractions, allows you to tackle more difficult problems with ease. Your ability to appreciate the task at hand, to think creatively, and even your willpower will all come more naturally. A stress free mind is a healthy mind.
Even working out in the morning can increase your focus and improve your overall attitude. Lifting weights also naturally releases the chemical serotonin, a neurotransmitter that contributes to our feelings of well-being and happiness. If you can’t make it to a gym, take the time to do a little jogging before work. So be it sports, running or anything physical, just make it happen. My advice: take a break from the monotony and stay active. Your brain will thank you later.
You can learn more about in the article Exercise enhances Creativity Independently of Mood by the National Institute of Health.
Manage your time wisely by getting essential activities done in the morning. Especially since many of us work long hours, remaining sedentary for most of the time. For many in a competitive landscape where being relentlessly proactive and creative each day are minimum standards, the biggest threat to your productivity is if you sap your creative juices. Whether by waking up before dawn or working out before the day begins, building a schedule that puts your mental health first is critical to optimizing the quality of your life and your work.
If I had to boil it down, morning hours allow your mind to be more focused and unhurried on tasks that you might otherwise find stressful. My advice would be to try to not deprive yourself of those precious hours where there are no pressures or expectations. It will save your sanity.
Read next: Self Confidence for the Creative Mind
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