One common thing that all successful people recognize is time is limited. While most people are busy during the day with work, phone calls, meetings, appointments, and emails, the morning is under your control. A common thread among successful people is waking up before the sun rises to maximize the precious morning hours before they become encumbered by the events of the day.
The morning is a perfect time to get some exercise in and puts you in a good mood the rest of the day. Another reason why exercising in the morning is so critical for successful people is because often times is they don’t get their workout in then, they won’t be able to. By the time their work day is over they are so mentally and physically exhausted it just isn’t feasible to exercise at that time.
Spend Time with their Family
The morning is a great time to spend time with family. Whether it is reading stories to their kids, teaching them something, sharing what they have planned for the day, or as simple as sitting down and taking the time to eat breakfast together, the morning is perfect for investing in family. Typically family time after work is reserved for dinner and getting ready for bed, so why not add another hour with your family every day.
Some people have difficulties disconnecting from their mental to-do lists and calming their mind. Taking the time to mediate gives both the mind and body time to relax and gain clarity in order to tackle the tasks the day requires of them. A significant proportion of successful people devote their mornings to a spiritual practice such as meditation or prayer to center themselves for the upcoming day.
By clearing out your email inbox in the morning you are setting yourself up for a less cluttered day. It also makes time to respond to urgent emails which need a quick response. With less in the inbox, you will be free to focus your attention to more pressing matters. It also gives you the opportunity to prioritize what needs to get done and incorporate the results of any emails into your plan for the day.
Something most successful individuals do is plan ahead and constantly modify their plans as time progresses. Plans can be in the form of goals, to-do lists, or even less formal notes. What is important is you are looking forward, planning the day, the month, and the rest of the year. Keeping focus of what you want to do will help you achieve better results and get more done.
Many successful individuals start their day by watching or reading the news. By the time they start their day they will already have a good idea of what is happening around the world. Staying up on current events can help provide insight in order to make informed business decisions based on the implications of those events. The morning, before work, is also a good time to check Twitter, Facebook, and read blog posts, as it reduces potential distraction for the rest of the day.
It is important to reflect frequently and it is something successful people tend to do often. Thinking about what you are grateful for and what you have achieved in the morning before you head out to work will help you keep perspective throughout the rest of the day. It is something that can take as little as a few minutes, but can have a dramatic effect on your outlook in life. If you are having trouble thinking of new things everyday to be thankful for, try writing a letter, text message, or email to someone different everyday expressing thanks for something they have done. It will make both your day and their day better than it would have been otherwise.
The morning is the perfect time to go to a coffee shop and network with other people. Any successful person can tell you networking is one the most crucial of all skills to master. The cliche, “it isn’t what you know, it’s who you know,” is very true in many industries and types of business. Networking over breakfast or coffee is typically less disruptive than going out to lunch and is more productive than after-work dinners. Coffee shops are the perfect venue to meet a wide variety of different people and potential future business partners.
Hobbies and Passions
Above all else, the mornings are perfect for spending time working on hobbies or passion projects. There isn’t a better time of day to spend a few hours doing exactly what you want to do than right when you first wake up. Many of the worlds greatest inventions and innovations started as hobbies or passions of people who woke up early and worked on them before they started their day.
Wake Up Early
The vast majority of successful people wake up early. In fact a recent poll of executives showed nearly 90% of them wake up before 6:00 AM. Some even wake up earlier. For example, the CEO of Pepsi, Indra Nooyi, wakes up everyday at 4:00 AM and is at the office by 7:00 AM everyday. By waking up early, it maximizes the amount of time you have in the morning to do all the other great things on this list. Time is the most precious of all commodities. It is both limited and cannot be bought. Getting up just one hour earlier everyday will give you an extra 360 hours per year or the equivalent of 15 extra days per year to spend becoming more successful.
Featured Image: Flickr by Guomundur D. Haraldsson