Are you an early bird or a night owl? It’s an often-asked question to get to know new friends, co-workers, college roommates, and significant others alike. No matter which you identify with, even the earliest of risers can have problems getting their brain woken up and firing on all cylinders before the sun is up.
Whether you love mornings or hate them, you can’t deny that, when your morning starts right, the rest of your day runs so much more smoothly. In fact, the most successful people have a few things to say about morning routines.
Straight from some of the most successful people out there, here are five morning habits to boost productivity:
Productivity expert and author of Design Your Day, Claire Diaz Ortiz, says how you start your day can impact your productivity throughout the entire day by anchoring you and making sure you stay focused on what's important. While there’s no special morning routine which works best for everyone, in general, incorporating a gratitude practice and goal-oriented planning are very helpful when creating a new morning routine to boost your productivity.
Getting your blood pumping is great way to wake up your mind and body, and focus your energy, before starting your workday. If you’re bored with your workout routine or need some ideas to get back into the groove, try joining the CEO of Starbucks Howard Schulz on an early morning bike ride, power walking with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, or even launching a dance party like Shonda Rhimes.
It can be tempting to rush out the door or head straight for the home office and skip breakfastagain, but Oprah Winfrey is here to tell you that breakfast is worth the time. It kick starts your metabolism, reduces your risk for diabetes, and gives you more energy throughout the day. For a well-balanced morning meal, follow Oprah’s lead and start your day with a healthy breakfast of complex carbs, fiber, and protein.
If mornings alone are hard enough for you, don’t make them any more difficult by forcing yourself to make more decisions than is absolutely necessary and potentially draining your mental energy before the day even gets started. Take a cue from Kenneth Chenault, CEO of American Express, and write down three things each evening that you would like to accomplish the next day. Mornings are easier when you know what’s coming.
Brian Tracy, author of “Eat the Frog” encourages people to do just that - “eat the frog” (i.e. the hard thing you just do not want to do) based on this quote from Mark Twain: "If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long." Do the worst thing first for a confidence booster and to avoid it looming over your head for the rest of the day.
Even if mornings are just not your cup of tea, try implementing a few of these suggestions of morning habits to boost productivity from ultra-successful people, and see if your opinion of mornings doesn’t start shifting.