We’ve been studying the morning routines of successful people. As we scoured the web and books as part of our research, it was apparent that a lot of these people share three common activities that are part of their morning routine. Do you want to know what they are?
1. Wake Up Early
They wake up early. Very early. We’re talking about 4am type of early. According to this Business Insider post and this Guardian article, most of the top executives wake up somewhere between 4 and 6am.
Does that mean waking up early makes you more successful? No. Correlation does not imply causation. Just because you will wake up early doesn’t translate that you’ll be successful. It is just a common activity among successful people.
Another common ritual is that they all regularly exercise. More than 70% of the top executives do their exercises in the morning. As we’ve written before, regular exercise is good for your productivity. You can think better, you’re less fatigue, need less sleep and your overall cognitive function goes up when you exercise frequently.
3. Eat That Frog
Successful people understand that not every hour is created equally. The mornings have fewer distractions and that’s also when we have the most willpower available to us (assuming you had a good night’s rest) which are the perfect conditions to work on your most important tasks – or as we call it “eating your frog”.
Laura Vanderkam explains this perfectly in her book What Successful People Do Before Breakfast:
”Seizing your mornings is the equivalent of that sound financial advice to pay yourself before you pay your bills. If you wait until the end of the month to save what you have left, there will be nothing left over. Likewise, if you wait until the end of the day to do meaningful but not urgent things like exercise, pray, read, ponder how to advance your career or grow your organization, or truly give your family your best, it probably won’t happen.”
That’s why we advice you to eat your frogs in the morning.
Making Your Own Morning Routine
Those are the “big three” morning rituals that all successful people share. Wake up early, exercise and eat your frogs.
There is a lot of room to play around with your morning routine. There are so many other things you could do but you will have to experiment yourself to find out what works and what doesn’t work for you.
What might work for me, might not work for you. However, incorporating the big three is your best bet to set up a successful morning routine.
If you need some ideas for other activities, here are some suggestions:
- Meditate for 10 minutes
- Do visualization exercises
- Eat a simple but healthy breakfast
- Write in your journal
- Review your goals
- Review your to-do list
To add to that, here are some suggestions for activities not to do in the morning:
- Checking email
- Eating a big breakfast
- Watching the news
- Waiting for the right conditions to make things happen
Again, experiment to see what works for you. Everyone will have their own optimal morning routine. If you want to create your own morning routine, we have a post about how to do that here.
Let us know in the comments below what your morning routine is!