Looking to shake up your routine? Check out the things successful people do in the morning.
Close your eyes for a few seconds.
No, don’t fall asleep. Instead, think back to this morning. How many times did you tap snooze? Were you running late? Did you feel stressed?
If you’re like the average American, you probably answered yes to at least one of these questions. You also probably recognize that, though it’s easy to fall into this pattern, it’s not the most proactive way to start your day.
Instead of falling into a bad morning routine, take some advice from the pros. Here are the 12 morning habits of successful people.
1. They ditch the alarm clock
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos swears by eight hours of sleep each night. He’s also a big proponent of waking up naturally, without an alarm. Arianna Huffington follows a similar routine. She told Oprah she too gets at least eight hours of sleep and wakes up on her own.
2. They exercise
As the sun begins to rise, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson kicks his day off with cardio — either a run or a session on the elliptical. It energizes him for the rest of his day.
Shark Tank star Daymond John also starts his day with a workout. He says this wasn’t always his routine, but he finds it makes him more productive, which then shortens his work week.
3. They meditate
Self-help guru Tony Robbins also exercises each morning, but after a protein-packed breakfast, he spends 10 minutes meditating, according to Business Insider. He calls the practice “priming,” which mixes yoga techniques with mindfulness. He says it gives him energy and sets his positive intentions for the day.
Jeff Weiner, the CEO of LinkedIn, once tweeted that he too meditates each morning. In fact, he wakes up at 5:30 each morning, reads his emails, checks the news, works out, meditates, and eats breakfast — all before 9 a.m.
4. They eat breakfast
Richard Branson starts his day with a game of tennis, a walk, run, or bike ride, and follows it with breakfast and time with his family.
5. They soak up the silence
Shonda Rhimes, the producer of “Grey’s Anatomy” and creator of “Scandal,” told InStyle she wakes up an hour and a half before her kids, around 5:30 a.m. She writes in her journal or simply stares out her window. Then, the kids awake, and her day’s off to the races.
CEO and co-founder of Ellevest, Sallie Krawcheck, starts her day with silence as well. However, she fills the silence with work. She wrote in a LinkedIn article that she’s her most productive self at 4 a.m.
6. They spend time with their pets
Like others, Oprah starts her day with meditation and exercise. Yet, before that happens, she brushes her teeth and takes her five dogs outside. After walking around the yard with them, she settles in and makes a cup of her favorite espresso.
Personal trainer Jillian Michaels says her alarm is her five year old. After the two cuddle, they feed their household of animals, reports Blinkist Magazine. This includes a rabbit, a pig, dogs, a bird, chickens, ducks, and fish.
7. They review their to-do lists
Shark Tank stars Kevin O’Leary and Barbara Cochran start their days with to-do lists.
Before O’Leary goes to bed, he writes down three tasks he wants to get done the next morning. Whatever it is, even if it’s something as simple as sending a text, he completes those three tasks the following morning. He says it puts him on track for a productive day.
Cochran follows a to-do list, too — though it’s more structured. She told Inc. that she files her tasks in order of importance, labeling them “A,” “B,” or “C.” She gives herself three to five “A” tasks a day. Because these are the most important, she makes sure to complete them in the morning, when she’s most productive.
8. They check their emails
Shark Tank star Mark Cuban spends an hour each morning checking his emails, he told Thrive Global. He says emailing allows him to set his own schedule because it alleviates the need for scheduled meetings and phone calls.
Apple CEO Tim Cook probably wakes up before anyone else — around 3:45 a.m. He receives 700 to 800 emails a day, and he reads nearly all of them. He uses his time in the morning to wade through them.
Rather than checking emails, Mark Zuckerberg naturally checks Facebook.
9. They don’t hit snooze
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld doesn’t hit snooze. Instead, he forces himself out of bed, opens the shades, turns on the radio, and splashes cold water on his face. Although he’s known for getting coffee with other comedians these days, he spent much of his career functioning just fine without caffeine, he says in an interview.
10. They catch up on the news
Warren Buffett is big on reading the news. He told CNBC he starts each day with the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Forbes, while Bill Gates told Fox Business his go-to sources are The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal as well.
Martha Stewart seconds The New York Times.
11. They make their bed
Tim Ferriss, author of “The 4-Hour Work Week” and “Tools of Titans,” makes his bed. In “Tools of Titans,” he explains that the routine task keeps his room and his head clear of distractions. It’s also something he can control, so no matter how crazy his day might become, he knows his bed is made.
12. They think about improvement
Venus Williams revealed to Fast Company that she wakes up and immediately thinks about “her game.” “It’s an addiction, but I always think about how to get better,” she says. “Everything is geared toward that.”
So rather than hitting snooze for 30 minutes tomorrow morning, try to set a better, more productive tone to your day. Get active, eat breakfast, and do what your parents always begged you to do: make your bed.
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