If you study a successful person, you will likely have found someone who has a well established morning routine that helps them to have a productive day every day. That isn’t just a good habit either – the way you start your morning has a definite impact on how the entire day goes.
By creating routines that force you to discipline yourself to do certain necessary tasks each day, you can practically become successful by default. As the saying goes, a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And that’s exactly what each morning is.
Here are 15 routines successful people do every single morning. Try adopting a few of them and see if you’re not enjoying more success in your life.
1. Create an Agenda For the Day – The Night Before
An agenda is simply a list of what it is you hope to accomplish in any given day. It is always best to have one prepared the night before. This will not only save you a step in the morning, but it will also enable you to compile the list when tasks and goals are fresh on your mind from the day just completed.
The agenda should function as something of a mission statement for the day. Though you may get off course from time to time, by reviewing your agenda you will be able get right back on track quickly.
2. Get Up a Little Earlier Than You Need To
It’s amazing how much you can accomplish in the morning simply by getting up an extra 20 or 30 minutes early. That will not only give you time to do what you need to do, but it will also allow you to do it in a slower and more thoughtful way. And that can leave you less stressed and more prepared for the day ahead.
3. Spend Some Time in Prayer or Meditation
Most people are not able to jump out of bed and immediately launch into action. We need some sort of transition between sleep and full functionality. This is an excellent time to engage in quiet time in prayer or meditation. This will enable you to get yourself centered and focused, as well as to key into the higher- or inner-power that you ascribe to.
4. Get the Blood Flowing
Some sort of physical activity is optimal to bring the body fully up to speed. It could be calisthenics, yoga, taking a short walk, or quick jog. A treadmill or stationary bike will do just as good. The idea is to get the blood flowing, because once it does your body starts to fire on all cylinders.
5. Review Your Affirmations and Long-term Goals
If you hope to be successful in life, you should have a carefully written list of affirmations and long-term goals. That list should be someplace obvious, like your bathroom mirror. The idea is that you is(have it where you can’t ignore it, and that way you will be forced to review it every day.
Affirmations are something like words that you speak over yourself. For example, you may want to repeat to yourself often that you are a successful sales person, or that you are physically fit, or even that you are a disciplined person. None of those may be what you are today, but you use those affirmations to move in that direction over a long period of time.
Long-term goals establish your direction in life. It’s important to review those each workday, so that you will realize that today is a step toward completing those goals.
The idea is that you should have your own vision of yourself and your future in front of you at all times. That way you will be able to spend this day pushing yourself just a little bit closer.
6. Rehearse Your Day As You Get Ready For It
As you are going through your morning, rehearse certain situations that you expect to have happen. This could include sales calls, meetings, personal interactions, and even phone calls and emails. This will get your mind plugged into the tasks ahead, that way you will have some idea as to what you will do in advance, which will also give you the ability to make revisions before the actual event.
7. Plug Into the World
This is where you begin to jog your mind into the world around you. This could mean listening to the news on TV or radio, or spending some time reading interesting articles on the web or in the newspaper. It’s a way to get plugged into the world beyond yourself.
8. Eat a Healthy Breakfast
Lots of people skip breakfast, either because they don’t have time or because they are hoping to lose weight. Both are a bad idea. A healthy breakfast will help to prepare your body for the day ahead. Eat too much, and you’ll feel sluggish. And if you eat nothing at all you’ll still feel sluggish! The idea is to find a balance that will give you the energy that you need to have the most productive morning possible.
9. Listen to Motivational Material Over Breakfast or On the Way to Work
This is the area were we can all use a little bit of help. Very few people are capable of keeping themselves in a high state of motivation on a permanent basis, or even most of the time. But by adding motivational instruction to your morning routine, you get help giving you the push that you need to go forward and accomplish all that you plan to.
10. Take a Few Minutes to Organize Your Workspace
Most of the successful people that I have known in my lifetime are those who practice what I would call constructive minimalism. That is to say that their workspace has only the minimum needed to accomplish what needs to be done – and nothing more.
The idea is that you keep your workspace free of any unnecessary clutter. Simply having stuff filling your work nest to make you feel secure accomplishes absolutely nothing. An uncluttered work space helps to create an uncluttered mind. And an uncluttered mind can accomplish far more than the average person can.
Take a few minutes at the beginning of the day to remove obvious clutter. If there’s more than a little, you may need to carve out some time later in the day, or even the evening or on the weekend to do a more thorough de-cluttering job.
11. Resolve Not to Procrastinate
Procrastination is the mortal enemy of any successful venture. That’s why you need to remove it as an option. That starts first thing in the morning, and you need to be mentally prepared – and personally committed – to not procrastinate under any circumstances. Get the task in, get it completed, then get it off your desk and move on to the next one.
12. Get Working Immediately
This is actually the B Side in resolving not to procrastinate. Once you commit to the idea, you must put it into action – literally! That means that as soon as you reach your workspace – whether it is a home office or a remote office – you must get working immediately.
How you handle the beginning of your day will carry over to everything else that you do for the rest of that day. Procrastinate early, and you will be playing catch-up for the rest of the day. Catch-up is no way to be successful at anything. You need to be ahead of your assignments, and never behind.
13. Complete Your Most Important Task First
This is one of the single most effective strategies for successful people. Whatever your most important job is, you should complete it first. That way even if you don’t accomplish anything else that day, you will at least have completed what is most important.
Generally speaking, your most important task is the one that has the biggest financial consequences. It could be an important deal, moving a major transaction forward, or avoiding or fixing what could be a major financial entanglement. Whatever it is, resolve to do it first each day.
14. Fix a Nagging Problem
Have you ever found yourself in a state of paralysis over a problem that you didn’t want to deal with? That’s a common dilemma – but not for successful people. Rather than allowing a nagging problem to linger, they fix it as soon as possible and then move on to bigger and better things.
Remember we talked about de-cluttering your workspace, and how it will lead to an uncluttered mind? Problems are another form of clutter – when you have one, it gets in the way of everything else you want to do. For that reason, you need to fix significant problems as soon as possible, and that will free your mind in your schedule to work on more productive activities.
15. Make Plans To Do Something Completely Different Later in the Day
If it’s one thing we emphasize on this list, it’s advance preparation. Morning should also be the time you’re making plans for later in the day. As a way of giving yourself a mental recharge, as well as creating a more interesting day, plan on doing something completely different later in the day.
It could be cooking a meal you never made in the past, starting an exercise program, taking dance lessons, or even getting together with friends. This will not only make your day more exciting, but it will also add purpose to your life. The idea is to create a diversion, and it will help you to realize that your life is more than just your work.
Implement as many of these routines into your morning as you can. You will begin to see improvement almost immediately. As you do, you’ll begin to realize a bigger goals in life are more attainable than ever.