Starting your working day before anyone else may not seem like a particularly enticing prospect, but there are actually many benefits involved. There’s a lot to be said about being organized and ready to go, and getting into a routine that means you’re not rushing about in a frenzy. It can be quite liberating and motivating, while it can even improve team relations.
The benefits you can gain from making sure you get to the office in plenty of time will be beneficial for your career, your free time, and your mental health. I know you don’t want to get up any earlier, but hear me out.
Here are the 10 benefits of getting to work early, even if it’s just a few minutes earlier.
1. You look good
Being punctual for work is an important trait and an essential component of a strong work ethic, which is a fundamental characteristic of professionalism. On the other hand, being the person who is always late isn’t a good look to project to both your boss and your coworkers; if anything, you’ll come across as unmotivated and disorganized, and it can hinder your career progress.
2. You become a role model
If you manage staff that aren’t great at managing their time, turning up to work before anyone else (so that when they arrive, they see you already making a start) can be a powerful motivator. Leading by example is an effective way to manage a team, and your good habits and visible strong work ethic may start to be adopted by others.
3. You boost your productivity
Starting work early means you have the opportunity to get more done. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll work more hours than anyone else, but getting a head-start can aid motivation and mean you get on a roll. Rather than being rushed towards the end of the day, being ahead of yourself means you can take it slower later in the day when you start to flag, rather than getting stressed and worrying about not hitting your targets.
4. You have quiet time to concentrate
Continuing on the theme of productivity, starting work early means you have a whole dedicated period of time to work when no one else is around. Sometimes working in an office with other people is actually quite a big workplace distraction, and it’s very difficult to focus. If you use this quite time to approach the tasks that are difficult to do in the company of other people and their chatter, you can do the easier tasks when everyone else arrives, knowing you don’t have the big one hanging over your head for the day.
5. You cement good habits
Habits are built through consistency. Getting to work early might be hard at first, but over time, you’ll start seeing it as much more natural, and it will just be something you do rather than a battle. Cementing good habits such as getting to work early takes dedication and commitment, and this may start to rub off in other areas of your life as you see the benefits of sticking with something, even if it’s hard to form good, lasting habits. The positive effects of a solid morning routine have been well documented, so it’s a good place to start.
6. You reduce your stress levels
Work is stressful. No matter what your job is, you will at times feel the pressure. Getting to work early can take that pressure off. It allows you to catch up with anything you’re behind on, it provides you with some quiet time, and it gives you the time to organize your day. This, in turn, allows you to prepare for anything unexpected and to create time to properly think about what you want to achieve in the day. When work is busy or fast-paced, we can find ourselves firefighting and not really achieving much, apart from an increased heart rate.
7. You might have a quieter commute
Another of the many reasons you should go to work early is that it can actually save you time and money, and a lot of travel stress. Commuting to work can be tiresome, but if you leave home before morning rush hour, you get to work in a shorter time, don’t have to battle through traffic queues or fight for seats on public transport, and you don’t need to spend so much on petrol. An early commute can be a peaceful experience to have before work, when the streets are quiet and the world is just waking up.
8. You enjoy the extra time to yourself
Getting to work early looks good to your employers, but just because you got there earlier than everyone else, it doesn’t mean you have to put in more hours. You can have the benefits of looking professional and keen, while actually using the extra time for yourself. Obviously, it isn’t good office etiquette to do this in the middle of the day, but the quiet, morning space in the office can be a great time to reflect, meditate, read a book or just take some time out before everyone arrives and the day gets busy and more focused.
9. You build your confidence
All of this commitment, increased productivity and time for you can do wonders for your confidence. Work may start to feel easier when you have time to plan and can start the day with a fresh mind without the stress of being late. New confidence may also come with how people suddenly view you. Rather than the person who runs in late with a piece of toast in their hand, flushed from rushing around and flustered, you can be the composed person who is in control and on top of things, already making a start. These two personas are worlds apart, and people will start to treat you differently.
10. You finish early
It may not be possible in your office, but for some on a flexible working contract, the earlier you start, the earlier you finish. That sounds like a bonus. Getting up slightly earlier and finishing in enough time to get home and have a long late afternoon or evening can’t be bad!
You still may not be convinced that getting out of bed an hour earlier is a good idea, but I’m sure you can see the benefits, so don’t hit that snooze button. It’s thought to take around 21 days to cement a habit and form a new routine, so stick with it, and it will become more engrained in your everyday life.
Being disciplined enough to stick with your new routine is an achievement in itself that will go a long way in helping you form new healthy habits and developing a strong work ethic and commitment to tasks. Other reasons why you should arrive to work early include:
- Reduced stress from having time to plan, and more time to get tasks done.
- Showing professionalism and a strong work ethic, which won’t go unnoticed by leadership teams and people who you are a role model for.
- A better work–life balance, with more time for yourself and more time to check yourself before rushing into tasks.
Can you think of any other benefits of arriving to work early? Let us know in the comments section below.
Originally published on August 7, 2015.