Now that June is officially here, it is finally starting to feel like summer. This translates into weekends that are a little more event-filled (and probably more indulgent) and workweeks that are a little shorter and, of course, there is no shortage of places to be and fellow young professionals (YPs) to see. Although the easy, breezy days of summer are supposed to be synonymous with relaxation, this doesn’t mean that your workload will correspond with your “summer mentality.” The benefits of early rising are plentiful year-round, but here are five reasons why you may want to set your alarm an hour earlier this summer.
It’s sunny and the birds are already chirping
It is a lot easier to wake up in the summer months than in the dead of winter when you know that a frigid commute, really unsexy outerwear and equally as grumpy co-workers are in your immediate future. With the sun already up and shining, and the pleasant walk that awaits, hitting “snooze” repeatedly is less of a probability than on a dark and inhumanely cold Canadian mid-January morning. When bright, warm and breezy summer days are a novelty in most Canadian cities, getting in that extra hour of daylight ensures you soak up as much of it as you can while it lasts.
You’ll look better
With the warmer weather, it is a lot more enticing to accept offers for post-work patio drinks with co-workers, friends or clients. And, unlike during the winter when such things are typically reserved for Thursdays or Fridays, it seems every weeknight is a Thursday in the summer. This means that you are more likely to skip that evening workout that had become routine during the winter in favour for the luring patio invitation. If you make it a routine to work out in the morning, not only will you feel less guilty about the indulgent patio session, you’ll be sure that your beach body looks as good as you need it to this summer. Waking up earlier also gives you more time to coordinate an outfit most practical, suitable and stylish for the series of events in store for the day.
You’ll get more done
Numerous studies have shown that people who wake up earlier are more successful and productive. It is easier to be productive and more focused in the morning when there are less phone calls, emails and overly chatty co-workers to distract you. Waking up earlier also gives you more time to strategically plan for the day and identify and resolve any potential issues or problems before they happen.
You’ll stress less
Don’t kill the relaxation achieved during the weekend spent at the cottage, in the park or at the beach with a workweek that’s more stressful than it needs to be. The first hour of your day sets the tone for the remainder of it. We’ve all had those days that begin in a frantic rush to put together an outfit, forgetting something at home, followed by a traffic-filled commute to work, only to be met with a domino effect that only ends when we return home, exclaiming to anyone who will listen that we’ve “had the worst day ever.” Waking up an hour earlier reduces stress by giving you time for yourself and to plan for the rest of the day. It also makes for an easier and less annoying commute on both the subway and car. With more time before 9am, you can even clear your mind with a walk to work.
You’ll feel better about leaving early on Friday
Let’s be honest: nothing about being at a desk and being in front of your computer on a beautiful, sunny summer afternoon feels natural. Thankfully, most employers are flexible when it comes to summer hours, especially on Friday afternoons. This doesn’t mean, however, that your workload has decreased. Waking up an hour earlier helps in tackling that workload so that you can enjoy the rewarding and guilt-free drive out of the city before the mass exodus of traffic follows.