Think about your mornings. How much do you usually accomplish before breakfast, if you even have time to grab breakfast, before rushing out the door to get to work? You probably brush your teeth, make yourself look presentable, scroll through a few emails on your phone. For most people, unless you’re a total morning person, the early morning hours before starting work are not the most productive time of day.
Successful people such as business founders and CEOs are not superhuman. It’s important to remember that they are regular people, just like you. They have simply found a way to balance everyday tasks with their busy, successful lives. What successful people have in common, according to Forbes, is that, “where others see impenetrable barriers, they see challenges to embrace and obstacles to overcome.” If they can do it, you can do it too. Here are eight ways successful people spend their mornings that you can implement into your own life.
Get up early
Nothing has ever been gained from sleeping in and wasting the day away- except for a few more hours of sleep. If you get to bed at a decent time, however, you’ll be able to get the most from your mornings. In a poll of 20 executives, 90 percent of them reported waking up before 6am on weekdays. For instance, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi wakes up at 4am to be in the office by 7am and Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read before starting his day.
Surveys have found that more executives exercise in the morning than at night. Most wildly successful people are also incredibly busy, so they make exercise a priority by fitting it into their mornings, so they don’t put it off later. Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary, for example, gets up at 5:45am every day to exercise. Exercising in the morning has health benefits such as reduced stress and improved sleep. Follow it up with a healthy breakfast, and you will have improved energy, short-term memory, and concentration.
After a morning exercise, you’ll want hop in the shower to wash off the sweat! Taking showers in the morning rather than at night is also great for productivity because studies have shown that sensation of being relaxed and removed from everything else releases dopamine, helping us come up with creative ideas.
Catch up on news
Successful people are worldly people- no matter how busy the lives they lead are, they make time to keep up with current events. Jeff Immelt, CEO of GE, begins his day with a cardio workout before reading the newspaper and watching CNBC. If you don’t have time to sit down with an actual paper or turn on the TV, there are plenty of tools that make it easy for you to catch up on world news- check out The Skimm, a daily email newsletter, or Flipboard, a website where you can personalize the stories that appear in your feed based on your interests.
Devote time to a passion product
Many successful people have personal projects they devote to outside of their normal work hours- that’s how a lot of entrepreneurs got their start! Use your mornings to devote time to what you love, be it writing, painting, or working on an invention.
Connect with family
No one, no matter how successful, should ever let their worklife overshadow their personal life. You may prefer to catch up with your family over dinner, but don’t forget about them in the morning either. Many successful people use the mornings to connect with their spouses and children, whether that’s a kiss goodbye or a conversation over breakfast.
Lastly, don’t wait until you get into work to plan out your day and set your goals for the week. Using the mornings to plan ahead will help you stay organized and set the trajectory for the rest of the day or week.
Most people will not have time to fit all of these things into their morning routines, but find a schedule that works for you and make it happen. That may mean doing some of these things some days, and some on other days.