For most of us, getting up in the morning is an inconsistent, blurry mess—and it has the power to dictate how we feel and how we work for the rest of the day. Nobody’s perfect and we all have mornings that don’t go our way, but for successful entrepreneurs, the morning looks and plays out a little differently most of the time.
Successful entrepreneurs became successful in part because they had a strong, consistent routine. But which habits helped them establish themselves, and how can you use these habits in your own life?
The morning habits of successful entrepreneurs
Everyone’s morning routine is unique, but these hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs’ morning routines can help you build a better one of your own:
1. Wake up early, at the same time as yesterday
There are two important beneficial elements of this habit. First, you wake up earlier than you need. This gives you more time, which you can spend on other morning habits. It also prevents you from rushing around, allowing you to keep your mind clear and reduce your stress for the day ahead. Waking up at the same time every day (yes, even on weekends) also gives you more sleep consistency, which is important for maintaining your circadian rhythm.
Successful entrepreneurs also frequently start their day with some form of meditation, with mindfulness meditation being one of the most common. Meditation is a guided, thoughtful practice that forces you to become aware of your inner thoughts and feelings. It’s ideal for clearing your mind and starting the day in the right mood—especially if you practice consistently.
Don’t believe me? These are some of the most notable entrepreneurs who meditate daily.
It’s hard to overstate the benefits of physical exercise. Exercising on a daily basis relieves stress and makes you feel more energetic, oftentimes carrying throughout the entire day. And if done consistently, it can keep you in better physical shape and better health, allowing you to be more productive. Try to spend at least 20 to 30 minutes exercising per day, even if you can’t squeeze it into your morning routine.
4. Eat breakfast
Successful people also try to eat a healthful, nutritious breakfast. If you’re low on time, you’ll be tempted to skip this meal or grab something quick like a toaster pastry, but this will leave you with low energy or set you up for a sugar crash later on. Instead, oatmeal with fruit, or eggs with toast are good choices.
5. Drink coffee (or tea)
Caffeine is a common choice for professionals everywhere, due to its multiple positive effects. It makes you feel more energetic, masking your leftover feelings of fatigue, and also improves your ability to concentrate. If you don’t like coffee, you can get caffeine from tea. Just make sure you’re not consuming caffeine in excessive quantities or consuming it too late in the day—otherwise it could interfere with your sleep quality.
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6. Work deliberately (or not at all)
The morning is a great opportunity to take care of some easy work. For example, some people like to clear out their emails, analyze yesterday’s email activity, or knock out a few small tasks. This is a good way to set yourself up for success, but make sure you’re working mindfully. If you’re mindlessly scrolling through emails or getting distracted with conversations, you’re not gaining a productive advantage—instead, you’re subject to the whims of the people and technology around you.
7. Read or listen to the news
Successful entrepreneurs also spend time staying up-to-date with world events, local events, and news related to their industry. The morning is a great time to read or listen to these sources. You can listen to an entrepreneur podcast while you shower or read the news while eating breakfast to save time.
8. Set goals and priorities
It’s no secret that goals are vital if you want to succeed; they serve to help you set direction for yourself, and simultaneously motivate you to greater achievement. But even people who have strong long-term goals fail to set smaller goals on a day-by-day basis. For example, you could set a goal to spend less time on a particular task, like email, today. Or you could plan this month’s social media calendar based on popular hashtags. Spend part of your morning brainstorming the most important goals and priorities for your upcoming day. What are you hoping to achieve? What’s most important?
The importance of consistency
Your exact timing and choices of activities aren’t nearly as important as the idea that you’re working on a routine consistently. Try to do the same things in the same order each day. This will make it easier to tackle these tasks and give you more momentum to get through the rest of your to-do list. Pay attention to how you respond to each habit in body and mind, and don’t be afraid to experiment.
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