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#TAGBlog: 4 To-Dos to Start Your Morning

by Alyssa Stahr

15 February, 2018

As I was moaning and groaning this morning and apologizing to my dog for not getting a move on quick enough, I realized my morning routine is turning a bit into just that — a Groundhog Day-esque rut. I then thought to myself, is it just because it’s winter (don’t forget our ‘How to Turn Winter Blues into Productivity’ blog) or am I just not a morning person altogether?

I used to have a job with a 7 a.m. start time, and for some reason that didn’t seem as tough as it is now, with a solid hour and a half later to spare. Even if I’m able to sleep in on the weekends after letting my dog out, I feel lethargic when I arise. Is it because I’m getting older? When I have questions like these, I know where to turn — my faithful TAG Team. They always seem like a perky bunch, so I went to them to uncover what makes their mornings magical in hopes of a change.

  1. Take Time for Yourself
    Social Media Specialist Ali Ishman says to take some time for yourself in the morning. “Whether it is exercising, going over intentions or just playing with your dog while sipping on some freshly brewed coffee (a.k.a. what I like to do), taking the time to just be with yourself doing something you enjoy can really help start the day on a positive note.” Media Coordinator Amanda Carretta has children, so she shares Ali’s sentiment: “Always make sure you wake up before your kids, so you can start your day off with peace and quiet.”
  2. Work Out
    Graphic Designer Alyssa Runge is not a coffee drinker, so she likes to have a workout in the morning before she starts her day to wake her up. This led me to think perhaps I could do a total lifestyle change and be an early riser to the gym. I seem to feel tired all the time throughout the day, so this may be an experiment to break out of the rut.
  3. Count to Three
    Account Manager Kimberly Birkhead felt my pain — getting out of your nice, cozy bed in the winter. I loved her advice of the count to three rule: “What helps me jumpstart my morning (leading to productive days) is my count to three rule. Count to three and just do it — no thinking, no questions, just go.”
  4. Set Yourself Up for Success the Night Before
    Finally, I really do think that what you do the night before helps. I never eat after 7 p.m., but I have turned into a cappuccino drinker in the past couple of years. Even though my soda intake has lessened, those happy hours may be inhibiting my sleep patterns as well, making for a cranky morning.

So, my morning rut change is going to include a little bit of everything: less caffeine, counting to three, morning workouts and a quiet walk with my dog. Non-morning people unite; who is with me?





#TAGBlog: How to Turn Winter Blues into Productivity

by Alyssa Stahr

19 January, 2018

It’s still looking a lot like Christmas in many areas of the country, and at The Arland Group’s St. Louis, Mo.-based headquarters, we never quite know what we’re going to get weather-wise. A typical day could include a start of 50 degrees with a 40-temperature drop finished off with a good old-fashioned ice storm. Mix in the fact that the fun holidays are over with only short bouts of sunshine, and winter blues could be setting in.


Even worse, you could be afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder, which the Mayo Clinic says is a type of depression that could zap your energy, make you gain weight, cause you to oversleep and make you more agitated or anxious. None of these symptoms are great for productivity in the office or for your overall health and wellbeing. So, what do we do to combat the winter blues in the workplace?

Think and Portray Warm Weather Thoughts
When the crushing wind hits my face and the sun goes down at 4:30 p.m., I think about the sunset at the beach; I break out my cutest hat; and today I even wore a pinker shade of lipstick. They say, “fake it ‘til you make it,” and willing it to be warmer somedays with the power of positive thinking just might work.

Keep Moving
Nothing screams productivity like, well, being productive. Use your breaks to take a walk (yes, outside — we swear it will make you feel more alive). See a movie at the theater after work instead of on your couch. And, don’t forget your normal exercise routine. I personally love hot yoga, especially in the winter. It warms your frigid bones, gives you a good stretch from muscles that tense up in the cold and gives you a good ohmmm after a hard day at the office.

Make Your Workspace a Cheery Haven
No one says you have to wait until spring to clean out your desk (or your closets at home for that matter). Buy a perennial plant or a new set of fancy pens to cheer up your day and your workspace. Social Media Specialist Ali Ishman says her answer for a positive workspace is always music. “I live for Spotify’s #TBT playlists and have a sunshine playlist for any other day of the week.”

Take the Vacation
If all the visualization in the world just won’t do it for you, take your vacation days in the winter for that Vitamin D. Vice President of Operations and Client Success Stephanie Silvey says that she always makes time for quality time off. “My husband and I love to take long-weekend getaway trips to go skiing, snowboarding or we go to the beach. I need to have something to look forward to, so always having a quick trip planned or event coming up that allows me to unwind helps keep me productive. It doesn’t have to be an entire week off, but jetting out early on a Friday and heading somewhere new is all the recharge I need sometimes.”