Are you the one who swears your eyelids gained 5lbs overnight by just refusing to open? Are you more inclined to roll over in despair at the alarm sounding than jump out of bed raring to go? Are you fed up of just not being a ‘morning person’? If so, read on to find our top tips for how to get up for work when you don’t feel like it.
Lark or Owl?
If you struggle to get up in the morning, the chances are you feel a million miles away from lark-like; you’re more inclined to burn the midnight oil and find yourself annoyingly perky when the rest of the world is heading off to the land of nod. If this is the case, you’re not imagining it. People are likely to be either lark-like or owl-like in their sleep tendencies according to genetic predisposition. As neurogeneticist Dr Ptacek says: “Whether we like it or not, our parents are telling us when to go to bed – based on the genes they gave us.” Bad luck, hey?
Knowing that you’re not imagining it and that you’re not just lazy, can be the first hurdle to overcoming your morning problems.
Getting Enough Sleep
The simplest way to combat the alarm-clock blues is to ensure you’re getting enough sleep. A staggering 37% of people in the UK aren’t getting enough sleep, and that makes us global winners of a pretty poor accolade.
It’s going to be tough to get up in the morning if you are genuinely sleep-deprived. Therefore, do everything you can to improve your sleep. These are our top useful sleep tips:
• Create a routine with the same bedtime, and same waking time, every day of the week including weekends.
• Avoid daytime napping, or limit it to just 15-20 minutes.
• Limit caffeine and alcohol, particularly in the evenings.
• Turn off all screens 1-2 hours before bedtime.
• Avoid large meals in the evening.
• Prioritise exercise and exposure to natural light during the day.
Once your sleep ‘hygiene’ is under control, it’s time to take a closer look at what’s going on for you in those waking moments. It’s time to consider your motivations and some of the reasons behind your wake-up procrastination routine.
Firstly, consider the bigger picture: Is work unfulfilling? Are you struggling with workplace relationships? Do you feel overwhelmed with pressure? Are health or personal reasons affecting your energy levels? If the bigger picture points to a bigger problem, then it may be time to consider a more radical solution such as changing jobs or a visit to the GP.
Secondly, assuming the bigger picture is “pretty OK, really”, identify your motivations for the day. What do you want to achieve today? Which three achievements would make today a success? Identify them, and then focus on them.
Even if your usual style is to front load your day with your hardest tasks, this can be counter-productive when the alarm beckons. Make your first task of the day something you relish and look forward to.
Act, Don’t Think
Another huge problem with mornings is that we turn the act of getting up into a huge thought-hurdle in itself. Your body and mind might not be on the same page when the alarm beckons, but don’t think about it, just move.
Body and mind will get into sync fairly swiftly, and you’ll have avoided the alarm snooze cycle which only brings poor sleep and a rushed start to your day.
If you’re struggling with this, put the alarm on the other side of the room and set the rule that you aren’t allowed back into bed.
Be your own best friend in the morning by ensuring you’ve prepared for the morning the night before; lay out your clothes, make sure breakfast is to hand and pack the bags. This is especially important if you have children in the mix. Otherwise, you’re setting yourself up for a bad start to the day.
Similarly, if you’re dreading the thought of getting up, then you’re becoming your own worst enemy. Practice some positive self-talk and tell yourself how the morning is going to look before you even get into bed.
Banish the Worries
If you’re struggling to get up for work because you spent last night worrying about work-related problems, then it’s time to take a different tack. Every day when you finish work, write a list of what needs to be done tomorrow.
Then leave it at work and walk away. Don’t overthink things, and leave the problems at work.
By following our top tips on how to get up for work when you don’t feel like it, your day will become more productive, and you’ll feel more energised. Take the steps you need to, and see if you can nurture that inner lark.