Ever had one of those days when you roll out of bed the wrong way and nothing seems to go right from that point on?
We all have.
Getting a jump on the day, and starting it in the right way, can make all the difference between a productive workday and one you spend in a rushed state, trying to catch up with all the agenda items that are slipping away from you.
Successful people value their morning time, and they don’t leave their mornings to chance.
They plan them and follow certain routines to ensure that their days progress as smoothly as possible.
If you’re not sure of the kind of morning routine to adopt, why not start by copying the habits of some of our greatest minds and entrepreneurs?
Here is what many of them have in common.
Yep, very few top entrepreneurs or investors are late risers.
They like to get up early, and they do it day in and day out.
Their morning alarm is also set at a very specific time, and they don’t tend to vary it — even on the weekends.
Kara Goldin, CEO of Hint Water, for example, wakes up at 5:30 a.m. every morning to check her email so she knows what the day will have in store for her.
Then she goes hiking with her family in the hills surrounding her Californian home before she heads to work.
If you have a strict morning routine, where you don’t have to think about when to leave for work or what to eat for breakfast, it frees your mind up for more complex and creative thoughts.
The creator of the Dilbert cartoons, Scott Adams, follows the same 20-minute wake-up routine every day, which includes the same protein bar and coffee, to give his mind space to think up new ideas.
Many high-powered leaders start their day by exercising.
They either hit the gym to burn calories and get those endorphins flowing, or they do some relaxing yoga, just like former Christie’s CEO Steven Murphy does.
Or take a leaf out of business growth consultant Adele McLay’s book and schedule a body-building session, which she does at 5 a.m. every morning with a personal trainer.
US Vogue editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, likes to start her day at 5:45 am with an hour-long tennis match.
A lot of leaders use the break of dawn to collect their thoughts, set their goals for the day, and make lists.
Research has shown that our focus and willpower are better at this time of day and a lot of successful people use this time to hone in on their strategies and goals.
Benjamin Franklin, for example, spent his morning addressing his goals for “powerful goodness” and setting a plan for the rest of his day.
Self-help guru, Tony Robbins, is a fan of setting aside what he calls an “hour of power” to set intentions and goals through visualization exercises.
Communication and contact with your loved ones are important, and many successful people make a point of always having breakfast with the family, or joining them on a morning coffee or walk.
The former chairman and CEO of Pepsi, Steve Reinemund, for example, will end his morning workout routine with breakfast with his teenage sons.
Meanwhile, the editor-in-chief of Good Housekeeping, Jane Francisco, spends 30 minutes in bed cuddling her young son.
What all of these morning routines display is a dedication to balance.
By taking a moment to focus on what is important, sets the entrepreneur up for the rest of the day — no matter how crazy it becomes.
I’m going to sign off by leaving you with some thoughts from Steve Jobs, who famously used his mornings to take stock of his life.
“For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself, ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’
And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Now, that’s something to really think about.