There are only 1440 minutes in the day. Successful people are keenly aware of this fact and wake up early to make every minute count. Early mornings are quiet and calm; a great time to start your day before the world follows suit. I find that if I plan the night before, I can sometimes carry out my most important tasks before 8am. Take advantage of your early mornings.
6) They meditate
Meditation is a great time to express gratitude for the day and what’s valuable to you. Find ways to clear your mind. I like to read my devotional and pray when I wake up. Some log into meditation apps like “Calm” or “Insight Timer” to help focus and find tranquility. Others merge this time into their yoga or stretching practice. Some choose to journal their thoughts and plans for the day. Earmarking even a short amount of time in the mornings for introspection and focus sets a solid foundation of clarity that will sustain you through the day.
Getting your body moving is a great way to release endorphins and jumpstart your day. Entrepreneur and “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary gets on his elliptical or exercise bike as he listens to news. Kevin Kruse, leadership and productivity coach does a daily 20-minute session on the treadmill. You can start slow with stretching and yoga or run 10 miles. Find out what works for your body and run with it.
4) They hydrate and eat healthy
Whether we feel it or not, we all wake up dehydrated. I like to start my day off with a glass of warm water. Since dehydration can lead to fatigue and lack of mental focus later in the day, hydrating with a glass of water, before your morning cup of coffee, can help prevent this. Eating something for breakfast is also key. It does not have to be a full English breakfast. A protein shake or bowl of whole grain cereal will do. An egg-white omelette with vegetables and a side of fruit with coffee works for me. The protein in the omelette fills me up until lunch and the fruit provides healthy carbs without white flour. Find simple, healthy breakfast options that work for you.
Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams’ fiancé and Reddit co-founder starts his mornings off with a phone call to his fiancé, Serena Williams everyday, if they are not together. After working out, former president Barack Obama has breakfast with his family before seeing his daughters off to school. I cuddle with my husband in the morning before I get out of bed. Acknowledging and appreciating those who are important to you is part of a mentally healthy and effective morning routine.
2) They do their hardest task first
Before he leaves his office everyday, Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express writes down the first 3 things he needs to accomplish the next day. He uses this list to start his next day. Our mind and bodies are most clear and focused in the first few hours of the morning. These hours are valuable and the best times to optimize your productivity. Plan to complete your hardest and most critical tasks in these golden hours. When I’m not working as a physician, my next most important task is writing for this blog. On my days off, it’s easy to get distracted with running errands, answering emails, paying bills, etc. I make a conscious effort to work on my writing first thing on these mornings since that’s when I’m at my most creative. Planning out your hardest and most important tasks the night before and implementing them first in the mornings are critical to maximizing your productivity and achieving success.
1) They find and adopt what routine works for them
During a commencement speech at Stanford University, Steve Jobs professed that he asks himself every morning “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” If you can’t answer yes to this question daily, something needs to change. Your morning routine does not have to be exactly like anyone else’s. It should be tailored to suit you and meet your needs. Some swear that checking email first thing in the morning is the worst way to start your day. However, I find that for me, it’s one of the best ways. I rarely reply emails in the morning, but I do scan through them while lying in bed so I’m alerted to any issues that may arise during the day. I’ve found this works well for me to help structure my day. Examine the morning routines of many highly successful people and adopt what works well for you.
Have morning routines that work well for your success? Please share them below!