Graduate Management News

November 2015

The Newsletter of the Graduate Management Admission Council

Make it Happen: A Morning Routine Blueprint That Will Make You a Rock Star

Successful leaders employ morning rituals that maximize their energy, productivity, and creativity all day long. Consider these tips for starting your day.

Professional Development Tips

 

 

 

 

 

  • Boost your energy level, and your day, with exercise.
    • It’s been said that people who exercise during the workday have more energy and a more positive outlook, both of which are critical to getting things done.
    • Exercising first thing in the morning ensures you'll have the time for it, and it improves your self-control and energy levels all day long.
  • No screen time until breakfast.
    • When you start your day with e-mails, texts, and other related activities you risk losing focus and surrendering to the needs of others.
    • Start your day with something relaxing to set the tone for the day.
    • Consider meditation, exercise, or even a short walk over the frenetic pace and demands of email and social media.
  • Eat a real breakfast.
    • Eating anything at all for breakfast puts you ahead of a lot of people. People who eat breakfast have more stable blood-sugar levels and tend to be less hungry during the day.
    • And these are just the statistics for people who eat any breakfast. A healthy breakfast gives you energy, improves your short-term memory, and helps you to concentrate more intensely and for longer periods.
  • Set attainable goals for the day.
    • Setting goals specific to your day puts you on the path to productivity. Narrow your goals down to those you can achieve.
    • Vague goals are counterproductive. Rather than, “I’m going to finish following up with last week’s email requests.” How about, “I’m going to complete my follow-up list by spending two hours on half of the list in the morning and two hours on the second half in the afternoon before 5 pm.” Now, you have your goal and your path to achieving it.
  • Clean your workspace.
    • A tidy workspace makes a big difference in your ability to concentrate. Clutter pulls your attention away from your work.
  • Assign times to your to-do list, and monitor your progress.
    • There's no point in setting goals if you don't check in on your progress in achieving them.
    • Evaluate your progress critically. If you're behind schedule or find that you’re rushing and doing sloppy work, then adjust your goals or your work ethic accordingly.
  • Keep meetings on schedule.
    • Meetings, if not managed well, can waste your time and sabotage an otherwise productive morning.
    • Stating your meeting agenda at the outset immediately focuses all in attendance. Keep your morning meetings on time and your entire day will stay on track.
  • Just say no.
    • Saying “no” can protect your productivity. Avoid phrases such as, “I don't think I can" or "I'm not certain."
    • A firm “no” lets you honor your existing commitments. An inability to say “no” will likely lead to stress, burnout, or lower productivity.