InsightsPOSTED May 9, 2014

Rise and whine: 3 lessons from switching up my morning

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I have zero interest in knowing what the world is up to at 5:30 a.m. Zero. I would much rather be under my covers dreaming for another two hours (at least), but when we APEXers were challenged to push ourselves in the spirit of learning and blogging, I decided to conquer my own mini Everest.

I’m well aware that waking up before sunrise to meditate, exercise and/or eat a healthy breakfast are a mere few of the many benefits early risers experience. But I’ve always been a night owl – hitting the sack in the wee hours of the next morning and assaulting the snooze button in rapid succession – and have never run into any problems with my “no-meetings-before-10 a.m.-if-I-can-help-it” routine.

Knowing what I know about early morning perks, however, I was willing to see how the other half live. So, for one week, I committed to prying my eyes open at 5:30 a.m. and seeing where the day would take me. What I learned was a little surprising:

1. What works for the masses won’t necessarily work for you.

Even though I knew it wouldn’t happen right away, I was ready to embrace my new outlook on life. By day six, though, I was surlier and more out of it than I ever remember being in recent history.

What I came to realize is that the habits that are expected to yield positive results, the routines that are tried, tested and true, may not give you the returns you’re expecting because of one, significant variable: you.

Every person is different, much like every business we represent. Just because a dozen companies thrive by doing certain things a certain way, know that you don’t have to jump on their bandwagon for an equally positive outcome. It’s important to reflect upon the things that separate you from the pack, the details about your personality or your business that give you an edge, and to work with – not against – those traits.

I accomplish a lot after business hours and feel refreshed when my alarm goes off at 7:30 a.m. Why mess with that? (Well, here’s why…)

2. Exploring a different approach is always worth the investment.

While you’ll want to embrace what works, you must always be willing to give something new a try. How else will you come to understand what your best solutions and processes are?

The thing is: You don’t know what you don’t know. You won’t grasp how to operate most effectively until you test out a few approaches. You won’t understand where your strengths and weaknesses lie until you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You won’t believe what you’re capable of until you make a point of finding out.

This kind of thinking is at the root of what we do for our clients. It’s the essence of risk taking and, no matter what the result, we know that trying something new is ultimately never a bad move.

3. It’s important to know that you’re adaptable, even if the outcome isn’t great.

This business is ever changing, so you can’t get too complacent. When the moment calls for it, you have to be able to adapt to your client’s needs, as well as to your own environment.

For me, overhauling my morning routine is something I know I’m capable of, and though I don’t love it, there were aspects that I found I do appreciate. I discovered that arriving at the office earlier than usual gave me time to settle in before my day became crazy. More time at home before leaving for work allowed me to take care of the things that typically eat into my evenings and weekends.

Regardless of the bumps along the way, being adaptable is a skill you must possess, not only to succeed, but to excel. When change is afoot, will you and your employees be ready? Test yourself and find out.

Give Daina Astwood-George a shout to chat about what APEX can do for your business. Shall we say sometime after 10 a.m.?

Check out more posts from our Push Yourself blog challenge: Sign up for boot camp to push your limits and Why you should follow people you disagree with.

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