If you’re wondering how to start the day off right, even if you’re not a morning person, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. But your morning routine can make all the difference between a sluggish, unproductive day and a positive day where every task feels like a breeze and there’s seemingly no limit to what you can accomplish.
If you’re ready to start reaping the benefits of an improved morning routine, let’s look at the morning habits of successful people for inspiration. Stop hitting that snooze button and try out these rituals to get a positive head start on your day!
Start with a Good Night’s Sleep
It goes without saying that getting enough sleep each night makes a huge difference to how you feel for the entirety of your day. It’s recommended by the National Sleep Foundation that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night to keep the body’s circadian rhythm in check and feel fully rested and ready to start the day ahead.
Famed businesswoman and columnist Arianna Huffington places high importance on a good night’s sleep as a precursor to her morning regimen. This involves removing electronic devices from the bedroom in the evening and relaxing with a hot bath and a fiction book to help her unwind.
Avoid the Phone for the First Hour of Being Awake
Just as it’s important to avoid technology as you drift off, Ariana Huffington’s morning routine also has a rule against looking at her smartphone for the first hour of her day when she wakes, instead, focusing on meditation and exercise.
For many people, glancing at our cell phones is the first thing we do when we wake up in the morning since we often use it to set an alarm. It’s so easy to go from switching off your alarm to checking social media and email inboxes, reading the news, and aimlessly scrolling.
But this habit can be detrimental – overuse of technology has been found to impact attention spans, with the average attention span dropping from 12 seconds to just 8 seconds since the turn of the century. Starting the day with a technology hit could mean you’re easily distracted and find it difficult to focus throughout the day.
If this sounds familiar, try to avoid looking at your smartphone first thing in the morning – even if it means buying an old-fashioned alarm clock, or leaving your cell phone switched off in another room before bed, so you’re not tempted in the morning.
Start the Day Off Right with a Mantra and Meditation
Twitter founder and billionaire Jack Dorsey is known for repeating mantras in his morning routine. To put it simply, a mantra is a statement or slogan repeated frequently; the idea behind adding a mantra to your mornings is that by repeating a positive affirmation, you will begin to believe it and thereby go on to fulfill it.
Positive affirmation can go a long way to put yourself in the right mindset for the day, inviting success into your life each morning. Some ideas for mantras to start the day off right:
- Today I am thankful for…
- Today I will accomplish…
- My goal for today is…
- My intention for today is…
Another great mindfulness practice to make part of your morning rituals is meditation. One of the most successful people in the world, Oprah Winfrey swears by morning meditation – she even has a room dedicated to it in her house. Meditating allows you to let go of any worrying thoughts, stresses or issues going on in your life and tune the world out. It’s a great way to clear your head in preparation for the day ahead.
Exercise Before Work
If you’re someone who usually exercises at lunchtime or after work, the prospect of exercising first thing in the morning might seem a little daunting. But Windows founder and billionaire CEO Bill Gates swears by it.
While you might not want to follow exactly in Bill’s footsteps – who used to run for an hour on a treadmill every morning upon waking – morning exercise has been found to improve cognition and focus throughout the day. Exercising on an empty stomach can take some getting used to, but it’s beneficial for your metabolism and improves personal discipline, which can enhance other areas of your life too.
Read a Book
If your morning routine simply involves climbing out of bed and getting ready for work, you could be missing out on valuable reading time. Famous financier Warren Buffet’s morning regimen might involve some questionable habits (we wouldn’t recommend drinking Coca-Cola first thing in the morning), reading isn’t one of them.
If you’re a natural early bird, make the most of your mornings. Use this time for peaceful and distraction-free reading, before the rest of the world wakes and you’re pulled this way and that by tasks and responsibilities. Whether you read the news, work-related reports, journals or fiction novels, it’s a great habit to add to your morning.
Set Intentions for the Day Ahead
If you want to become more organized, a structured routine can help with that. Apple founder Steve Jobs used to remind himself of his daily tasks and long-term goals every morning. You can take a leaf out of his book by writing down and prioritizing everything you need to get done that day to give yourself a clear plan. That way you can hit the ground running and take steps to make meaningful progress on goals.
How many of these habits of successful people are you going to try? A productive morning practice can help you set the tone for the rest of your day. Highly successful people have figured out that productivity in the morning offers a sense of accomplishment that can help inspire them to do more each day.
Time tracking software can help you continue that tone throughout the day and stay focused on your short and long-term goals. Try QuickBooks Time with a free trial today and revitalize your routine!