Your morning routine (or lack thereof) is more important than you think. How you spend your earliest hours determines whether the rest of your day will be smooth sailing or a slow slide into entropy.
Guys like Richard Branson, Tony Robbins, and Elon Musk aren’t leaving their mornings to chance. They’ve developed productive morning habits that kickstart their days and set them up for 24 hours of success – both professionally and personally.
You don’t have to be a billionaire or a self-help guru to get the same kind of momentum. Nurture these powerful morning rituals to start your day on the right note and put yourself ahead of the pack.
#1 Get Sufficient Sleep
Watching one more episode of House of Cards seemed like a great idea last night. But today? Today your morning is already f****d and it’s barely even begun. A strong morning starts the night before, when you make the adult decision to go to bed at a decent hour and wake up without hitting snooze. Sufficient sleep sets you up for success in every way. It’s essential to mental health, creativity, and even weight control.
#2 Make A Game Plan
Prep as much as you can ahead of time to minimise stress in the morning. Before you go to sleep, lay the next day’s clothes out (or at least decide on what they’ll be). Make a big batch of breakfast, like hardboiled eggs or oatmeal, and spread it out across the week. Decide on tomorrow’s tasks today. The last thing on your to-do list should be creating the next day’s list so your precious morning hours are never wasted on scheduling.
#3 Write Morning Pages
CEOs, artists, and entrepreneurs all swear by this effective habit. Each morning, before you jump into the nitty-gritty of your day, write three pages – totally stream-of-consciousness, ideally in longhand. There’s no wrong thing to write in your morning pages. They are not high art. They don’t need to be “good” writing or deep contemplation. Jot down anything and everything that crosses your mind, even your most banal and whiny thoughts. As a daily practice, morning pages can help you clear your mind, clarify, get creative, solve problems, and prioritize.
#4 Start Strong
Tackle the hardest, most meaningful task first. Self-control is a limited quantity and willpower is highest in the morning, so start with whatever requires the most focus, will, and determination to complete. Mark Twain said, “If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.” In other words, once you’ve crossed the most challenging task off your list, everything else will seem easy. Choose your frog the night before (see #2) and use the motivating high of accomplishing it to blast through the rest of your tasks.
#5 Stop Ignoring The Obvious
All those things you know you should be doing but aren’t? Do them. There’s a reason every success story sings their praises. Wake up earlier. Eat breakfast. Drink water. Exercise. Maybe try meditating or reciting a mantra. Not only do these foundational habits make you healthier, you will feel more motivated and focused than ever before.