There is something very abjectly defeatist about the phrase 'leaving for work'
It seems as if you are leaving the holy grail of your home to someplace that will devour you. Further, most people use this phrase and their morning regimen in the most destructive manner whereas the reality is that how you psyche up yourself when starting the daily routine has a far-reaching effect, affecting nearly everything, including your mindset, affecting the energy you carry back home and how miserable or energetic you will be during the workday.
While people have published long articles and editorials about how to start your day, things to do when you wake up and how to manage your morning better, little has been said about the smallest things that can seriously dent a working day morning. My decade of committing horrible mistakes and finding out the truth at my own expense has made me make some conclusions:
Be Slightly Emotive: leave for office without grudges or anger
Be loud in saying goodbyes, casual, but make it a habit. Morning kisses are good, they tend to stay with you longer than their moistness. Don't leave home with bad vibes. You don't want that type of energy when starting the day. I have had days when I got somewhat misty-eyed thinking about my mom's chronic state of Parkinsonian and those feelings make the heart and head heavy with thoughts that do very little good when you want to be charged up and not flattened by life's realities. This can be very challenging if you are working from home, just like many of us have been doing during the COVID era. Without the morning travel to work, with work being in the air throughout the day when you are at home, starting your day with a plan can seem trivial, almost stupid. However, this is where you need to take control and develop some discipline too. You have to banish the negativity when you open your laptop. Perhaps, you can count to your login and then, put all the grudges on hold, until you wrap up your workday. If you have been starting your work-from-home office schedule without taking a bath, just reconnect with yourself - you are most likely to have felt de-energized and almost depressive during the morning hours, often struggling with an argument or a demotivating realization that has lingered on since last night.
Eat but Don’t Stuff Yourself
Never ever leave the home hungry. You need a carb hit, hopefully, with some protein, don't gulp the supplements when starting the day. Don't chew on anything that tends to make you gassy or heavy. You want to reach the workplace lighter, more nimble, and agile. All the wisdom about leaving home with a good, rich breakfast is more bookish than practical. You want to leave home for work with a light, relaxed stomach. You can try just having lots of fluids, like water, honey lemon mix, milk, shakes, juices, buttermilk, etc. rather than eating something that takes a longer time to digest. This is as relevant during the work-from-home ecosystem that is bound to make you more negligent towards catching a morning bite. Even as hybrid work cultures are developing, it is a global truth that work-from-home is here to stay for a long time. It has been here for more than a year and increasingly, it is messing up how people are planning their morning schedule. With the favorite cookies now baked at home or being easily available, just across the corridor, breakfast is again taking a beating. Some work-from-home champions tend to start their day with a strong cup of coffee, tagged with endless bites or snacking as the day moves along. In contrast, many people have been brunching, bypassing the traditional breakfast routine. This can really take a toll when you need to be at your creative best during a morning call or want to sound assertive when leading a morning training session. Eating light still remains the wisdom to share, even if you are working from home!
Pack well when leaving for office, Mentally & with Daily Supplies
Don't pass on the feeling that your day is going to be horrible. It gets viral, among family and friends too. Try to check things that can possibly ruin your day. Stuff like daily meds, earphones, digital devices you are addicted to. You might need a lot of tissue. You might want to carry your inhaler during the pollen season breakouts. There might be a wrist wrap that helps you to keyboard better, faster. For me, it has been a case of many wrist bands that have kept my typo's wrist pain in check over the years. Yes, I am a chronic, near-fatal, MS Word author...I must write something for a larger part of the day. When I was working regularly, packing for the office included fruits for giving an energy boost, fruits to get over the early evening laziness, and even more fruits to give things one last push before the closing hours. Allergy season meant carrying my inhaler and an ensemble of green tea sachets. With work-from-home becoming the only option, packing for work means ensuring there is no clutter on the work desk. Usually, walking into my working room, after just having watered the balcony planters gives me a bit of morning boost. The desk is never stocked with any snackable. Try to have some morning affirmations.
Plan for the Day Ahead but Don’t Execute Plans
Try to say something about the evening plans. This makes it seem like a more human schedule where there is life beyond the cubicle. Don't be counting money or writing cheques. This can induce financial anxieties. This is not the time to calculate how much the baby in the family strained you in terms of pharmacy store or diaper costs. This is when you want to kiss the baby goodbye. Mornings are the worst time to reflect upon the last week for things you could not get done. You don't want to carry these vibes to a working day!
Curb Your Enthusiasm
Don't sip on too much coffee when you are leaving home. Yes, you need a light sugar hit to get the feet moving but too much caffeine could mean trying to do things that are practically not the right choice for your morning regimen. Reserve the coffee-linked enthusiasm for work meetings and clients. There is a difference between being energetic in the morning and trying to sprint so hard that you tip over. You want to pace out your energy reserves. Working days can get unpredictably tiresome and you must have some backup fuel. I am talking about mental reserves and not endless cups of coffee.
Be Minimally Social, Minimize Social Networking Footprints
Try not to browse through images of others vacationing or celebrating anniversaries. The morning exit time should be more about self-reflection, more attuned towards ensuring the things you would be doing today. Never waste time in updating your apps or checking Whats App statuses. This is the time to spread the good vibes in your home because they will make an impression on who will stay behind and will come around to welcome you when you come back home in the evening. This is like a bit of emotional investment that yields daily returns so stop fidgeting with your iPhone and get more human. Don't rush to the FB app in the morning to check out the latest updates from your workplace or home-life circle of friends and colleagues. You don't need to process this type of data early in the morning when, the entire attention should be on prepping your mind & body for another grueling day.
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