As a child, I loved to wake up early. My favorite memories were waking up as early as my dad and feeling really special that we shared 6:00 AM together while everyone else was still asleep. I recently became a morning person after many years of living as a night owl. What made me switch to the dark side? College and grad school. But I’m happy to be back to the bright and early, and according to a recent study in an American Psychological Association journal, morning people are happier people (Source). Since I’ve started going to be between 9 and 10 and waking up between 5 and 6, my days have begun feeling much more productive, happy, and enjoyable. In “12 Things Killer Employees Always Finish Before Noon,” Jada Graves explains that productivity, hard work, and happiness are key traits for morning people because they accomplish 12 specific tasks. What are those tasks? Read the article to find out more.
Cultivating productive habits to be a healthy, happier person is on the top of my to-do list. For the past year, I’ve worked to keep mindless celebrity gossip out of my life; to eliminate Facebook; and to avoid garbage television. I feel so far removed from those three bad habits that I don’t even understand why I could have fallen into such a terrible lifestyle in the first place. With those three items crossed off my list of things to eliminate in my life, I’m working to fill the void with healthier choices. First, as I mentioned, I’m going to bed earlier so that I can wake up earlier. This helps me with my second goal, to exercise in the mornings. My third and final current goal is to work to enjoy work. Hear me out…
We spend 15 to 20% of our lives working. We make the choice to either enjoy that time or to complain about it. I’m guilty of complaining about work, but I am making a conscious decision to be a more positive, happy, productive employee. In “Have a Great Day at Work: 10 Tricks for a Fabulous Workday,” Geoffrey James explains that we can tweak our behavior to improve that 15-20% of our life spent behind a desk (or, in my case, in front of a classroom). I’ve taken his 10 tips to heart and have already seen drastic changes in my work life.
First, James suggests we start with 15 minutes of positive input AND tie our job to our life’s goals (Source). I put a few inspirational quotes from Carol Dweck around my desk, and this has helped me to see the larger picture. My husband always tells me I have to stop focusing so much on the future to be happy with what’s right in front of me, and this is advice I’ve really been working to apply to my everyday life.
James also says we should smile and express a positive mood… even if we don’t really feel that way (Source). I like this idea not because I support being a phony person but because nobody wants to be around an Eeyore, and because I know I’m sick and tired of politely asking someone, “How are you?” and having them spend 10 minutes complaining about life in response. James advises that if we work to become more positive and happy in the workplace, “the most negative people in your orbit will be avoiding you, while the positive people will want to hang out with you and help you” (Source). I’ve personally noticed this to be true, and lately, I’m happy to be surrounded by some really awesome people.
And, if you think about it, why are you complaining about your job anyway? We learn from Lisa Kristine that “more than 27 million people [are] enslaved in the world today” (Source). Kristine examines modern slavery in this riveting TED Talk which was recommended by Chiara Ojeda.
As cliche as it is, we are insanely spoiled, and we need to get real. Wake up! We live positive, safe, free lives. And after watching Lisa Kristine’s Talk, I feel even more compelled to be grateful and happy not only at work but in my everyday life. If you need a reminder that your life is amazing, you should watch Kristine’s Talk every single morning when you arrive at work. I say you should make it a habit to be grateful. But if you wake up and make the choice to be unhappy and negative at work, you deserve the negative consequences that go along with that choice.