It’s hard to be productive when you start the day on the wrong foot. Successful entrepreneurs, who are responsible for huge businesses and a lot of people, know that morning routines are key to starting the day on a high note. No matter what, these trailblazers stick to their morning schedules, and their companies are all the better for it. Below are seven of the best morning habits you can learn from those who rule the business world, so you, too, can slay the rest of the day.
1. They are Early Risers
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson has always been an early riser. He says that waking up early is a habit you must work to maintain, so that you can accomplish a lot more in a day, and therefore, in life. Waking up early gives you time to get yourself and your things together so that you don’t rush out the door all frazzled every morning.
2. They Don’t Reach for their Cellphones First Thing in the Morning
Starbucks founder Howard Schultz was known for starting his day with a motivational e-mail to his employees and then he disconnects so he can exercise and spend time with his family. Diving straight into text messages and Facebook the minute you wake up can make you lose focus or even stress you out during your first waking moments. Instead, work at keeping your morning calm and positive, so that it sets the tone for the rest of the day.
3. They Set their Goals and Priorities for the Day
We could all learn from Benjamin Franklin whose first order of the day was always his meticulous To-Do list. Set your goals for the week every Monday. Each day, write down your goals and priorities. Start by conquering the hardest task on your To-Do list first. This way you don’t run the risk of procrastinating. You also wouldn’t have to worry about forgetting important tasks and goals.
4. They Exercise
This is the top morning activity of the rich and powerful. We know they’re incredibly busy people, so if they make time to exercise first thing in the morning, it’s got to be important. A pre-breakfast workout helps reduce stress, gives you happy endorphins, and improves sleep. Research from Aarhus University in Denmark says that regular morning exercise enhances sleep rhythms and helps the body secrete the hormone melatonin, which induces nighttime ZZZs.
5. They Eat a Healthy Breakfast
There’s a reason why people have been calling it the most important meal of the day. But they didn’t mean a glazed donut and a frappe, that’s not healthy at all. Instead, go for some fruit, eggs, oatmeal, and some veggies. Successful entreps know that breakfast fuels the brain and body for the rest of the day. It also gives you time to connect with family before conquering your work day.
6. They Motivate Themselves and Practice Mindful Meditation
You don’t always wake up happy and raring to start the day. That’s why successful CEOs practice mindful meditation as a way of lifting their spirits up every morning. Try taking a couple of minutes when you wake up to write down the things you are grateful for. This helps you feel better and as a result, you get more work done throughout the day.
7. They Know How to Say No
When you get a short notice request for a morning meeting, don’t say, "I’m not sure" or "I’ll try." Wildly successful people know how to protect their precious mornings and the rest of their day by saying no when they need to. A research conducted by the University of California showed that people who find it difficult to say “no” are more likely to experience burnout, and even depression. Learning the power to say no allows you to honor previous commitments, makes you less stressed, and more productive.