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Career Corner
Early, Wide-Awake Bird Catches the Worm

Mariana Ashley -- Focused on those men and women who are graduating from college this spring, this advice also applies to anyone working to build a successful career.

Graduation season is here, which means those fortunate enough to find jobs straight out of college will begin their new exciting adventures and be immersed into the working world. But being thrashed into the typical 9 to 5 routine is a rude awakening for most college grads, especially those that are used to starting classes in the late afternoon. While not being a morning person is normal, the truth is that you will need to condition your body in order to wake up early mornings feeling refreshed and ready to tackle your tasks at hand. And, no, a cup of coffee isn’t good enough -- caffeine dehydrates you, which will make you feel even more tired as the work day progresses. Here are some quick tips on how to naturally awaken your drowsy body.

Get plenty of sleep.

While you may have been able to stay awake till 4:00 a.m. playing on your X-Box and then mosey into class on three hours of sleep, the truth of the matter is that this sort of sleep schedule will not be acceptable in the working world. Not getting the proper seven to eight hours of sleep each night will not only make it hard for you to get up in the mornings. Sleep deprivation is also directly associated with your work performance levels -- it affects your concentration, your abilities to process complicated information, and can even affect your level of creativity. And as you will learn early on, work is not like school; if you’re feeling tired you can’t just sit there and zone out as your professor gives a lecture. So get a good night’s rest each and every night.

Take a cold shower.

One of the easiest ways to shake off any type of drowsiness is to take a cold shower. A cold shower will send your body into a shock that will immediately invigorate your central nervous system and make you more alert. The cold water will also help improve your circulation system. To awaken your senses even further, you might want to try and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil into the shower. Eucalyptus oil is a remedy that is used to revive faint victims. If it can make faint victims wake up, it can definitely help you revive from your zombie-state.

Massage pressure points/exercise.

Carefully massaging pressure points, such as the ones found in your ear lobes, can help get your blood flowing and send more oxygen to your brain -- more oxygen will allow you to perk up with more ease. While massaging pressure points can help, a better way to get rid of drowsiness and reap longer lasting effects is to exercise in the mornings. The exercises don’t have to be too intense -- a simple jog around the block or maybe just some stretches will suffice. Exercising can send oxygen through all of your muscles and make you feel completely energized.

Eat a well-balanced breakfast.

There is nothing more important than eating a well balanced breakfast to jump-start your day. It’ll give you the energy boost your body needs to function throughout out the day. This is because if you don’t eat in the mornings, your glycogen levels will start to diminish, which means that by lunch, you’ll feel exceptionally tired. The perfect breakfast should include protein, carbohydrates, and “some” fat. For example, some yogurt with a cup of blueberries, a soft boiled egg with a piece of whole wheat toast, or a whole wheat waffle would be ideal breakfast.

Published by Ramon Greenwood. For more advice on how to accelerate your career during tough times, participate in Ramon Greenwood's widely read Common Sense At Work Blog click He coaches from a successful career as Senior VP at American Express, author of career-related books, successful entrepreneur, and a senior executive/consultant in Fortune 500 companies. For more free career coaching visit Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She may be contacted at

© 2011 Ramon Greenwood

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