Have you ever wondered what things successful people do in the morning to start their day? It’s a decent question and curiosity to have because productive mornings seem to be a pattern in the daily routines of people who find professional and personal success. Successful people do things like set time aside to prioritize their day and typically do important tasks before everybody else is up and able distract to them. The habits that the most successful people have in the morning help them have strong willpower, self-control, and great decision making skills.
We decided to figure out 9 things successful people do in the morning, and then share our findings with you:
1. They get out of bed early.
Successful people don’t sleep in. They get up early to hop on phone calls, early meetings, exercise, or use the morning hours to head to the office before everybody else arrives. A lot of successful people try to squeeze in as much as possible before the sun rises since it’s easiest to control the day when nobody else is up and around yet.
Author Laura Vanderkam cites a study by Florida State University psychology professor Roy Baumeister in her book where he found that 90% of executives polled wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. For example, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi wakes up at 4 a.m. and is in the office by 7 a.m. CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to read, and Twitter/Square CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to jog.
Productive days start with productive mornings. Getting up early is the foundation of the things successful people do in the morning, and it’s a reoccurring finding of ours when looking at dozens of successful people.
2. They exercise.
Christie’s CEO Steve Murphy uses his mornings to do yoga before heading to work, Starwood Hotels CEO Frits van Paasschen goes for an hour run every morning starting at 5:30 a.m., and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns has multiple 6 a.m. personal training sessions throughout the week. The bottom line is that exercise matter. It helps calm and focus the brain, while energizing the body for the day ahead.
3. They work on the projects that matter most.
Successful executives tend to work on high-priority projects early in the day so that they can focus before everybody else gets into the office and asks for their time. Getting high-priority projects taken care of in the morning means no distractions and a fresh mind.
4. They spend time with their family.
A fair amount of successful people use the morning to spend time with their family. This can mean they do anything from read stories to their kids or just cook an amazing breakfast with their spouse.
5. They use coffee to network.
Instead of using dinner or drinks to network, successful people often use their morning coffee to network. Using morning coffee to network is far less disruptive than a midday lunch and can be more relaxed than dinner or drinks at night.
New York-based lawyer and entrepreneur Christopher Colvin created a morning networking group called IvyLife. IvyLife is a coffee meetup for Ivy League alums that happens every Wednesday morning. Colvin says that he enjoys the morning coffee meetups because he feels “fresher and more creative in the mornings.” He added that by the end of the day his, “mind is more cluttered.”
6. They clear their minds by meditating.
Successful people often have a hard time separating their personal life from their professional life. That’s why before many successful people head out the door they devote time to a spiritual practice like meditation.
A former corporate executive, Manisha Thakor, who now runs MoneyZen Wealth Management, is keen on using meditation to clear her mind. She meditates twice per day; once in the morning before breakfast and a second time in the evening. She uses meditation to focus on her breathing and repeating a mantra in her head. She explains that, for her, meditation is “one of the most life-enhancing practices” that she’s ever experienced.
7. They plan and strategize.
Successful people often use the mornings to prioritize and strategize how their day, week, or month is going to flow. They use the morning to do big picture thinking about both personal and professional goals. Making planning and strategizing a habit is a great way to make busiest days more manageable.
8. They read the news.
Most successful people have a pre-breakfast ritual for getting the latest headlines. An example of this is GE CEO Jeff Immelt. He starts his day with a morning cardio workout and then reads the newspaper and watches CNBC. By reading (or watching) the news before going to work, you have a great idea about what’s going on in the world. When you know what’s going on in the world you understand how you need to adapt your business to changing circumstances.
9. They write down what they’re grateful for.
Thinking about and writing down what you’re grateful is a fantastic way to center yourself. That’s why so many successful people take time in the morning to write down the people, opportunities, and places they’re grateful for. This is a simple habit of the successful that can help you change your outlook on the most stressful of days.
Which of the things successful people do in the morning do you do?