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CareersEarly risers are usually more proactive and productive, and waking up early is a trait which is apparent in most successful people. Various studies have concluded that character traits of morning people include agreeability, conscientiousness, optimism and satisfaction. Night owls, on the other hand, while believed to display creativity, are more prone to depression, neurotic behaviour and pessimism.

‘Morning people’ are more likely to anticipate problems and minimise their impact by dealing with them effectively. So even if you are one of those people who do their best work at night, make an active effort to wake up early every day in 2014 and do the following before 9 am in order to be productive.

Exercise. Over 90% of people who work out daily, do so in the morning. Research has shown that exercise increases mental acuteness. Exercising before work gives you a boost of energy and on average it lasts four to 10 hours after exercise.

Organise your day. Early morning is the best time to map out your schedule for the day, by assessing priorities and focusing on what you absolutely need to accomplish, as it is often the only quiet time a person gets throughout the day.

Visualisation. By meditating and visualising, you will be able to clear your mind’s clutter and become conscious of your thought patterns, which will help you work and focus better. Research shows visualisation and affirmations are more effective when we are in the ‘alpha’ or relaxed state.

Eat that frog! In the words of Brian Tracy: “Eat that frog!” The ‘frog’ is a metaphor for your biggest task and if the first thing that you do when you get up in the morning is eat a live frog, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that it is the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long. In a work context, this means doing that least desirable task on your list first and getting it out of the way.

— Fauzia Kerai Khan
The writer is Chief Consultant, i&b Consulting, Training, e-Learning. fauzia@iandbconsulting.com.

First published in the Careers Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on January 5, 2014.