The morning routine of successful people
First off lets start with some clarity. There is no such thing as a perfect morning routine for everyone, we all have our own way of doing things and not everything works well for everyone. The trick is to try different elements of successful people’s morning routines for yourself and see what works.
That said, below is a list of the things that roughly 80% of successful people do to start their day
Number 1: Wake before dawn
Routine.com interviewed hundreds of successful people about their morning routines and discovered that the most successful woke up at 5:30 each morning. This is co-incidentally something that the likes of Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg and Ariana Huffington also do.
During my Ayurvedic training we were taught that the best time to rise was before dawn. This is because our bodies are meant to align with the circadian rhythms of the earth. It is good to wake up before the sun rises, when nature is at peace as it allows us time to wake our senses. Getting up early and watching the sunrise is a powerful experience and it is also believed in Ayurveda that it helps to cleanse the aura.
Whether you believe that or not, getting up early at least gives you time to yourself before everyone else wakes up and you can start your day by doing something just for you. Maybe that’s just reading, listening to some music or as I like to do, watch the sunrise with a hot cup of coffee.
Number 2: Don’t touch your phone
It’s now second nature for many of us to reach for the phone the instant we wake up. Sometimes this can’t be helped if we are using an alarm clock on our mobile device. However, the point of this is not to start your day focusing on someone else’s request.
Let me explain. If you pick up your phone and see an angry email from a customer or there’s a news story about a politician lying again or maybe it’s a funny video of a dog dressed like a pirate. Whatever it is, these are not your priority first thing. And what happens is it doesn’t give our brains and our bodies time to align. We haven’t fully woken up and already we’re being torn from pillar to post and on the back foot of events that happened whilst we were blissfully asleep. Just don’t. Leave your phone for later, an extra 30 minutes before you check in on the world will do you some good.
Number 3: Drink water first
During the night, we detox, hence the reason why that first pee in the morning is so dark in colour. It’s full of all the toxins your body has been working hard to remove. That said, you need to rehydrate as soon as possible. Make sure to drink a glass of water before any other drinks. Especially coffee. Because as much as I’m a coffee addict, it’s a diuretic and actually dehydrates rather than rehydrates which is what you need first thing in the morning.
Number 4: Meditate for 10 minutes
Meditation was such a game changer for me just in general in my life. It’s why I teach meditation worldwide now. But in order to truly benefit from the power of meditation, you need to practice daily. The best time for meditation is first thing in the morning. It’s also much easier first thing as your brain isn’t cluttered or preoccupied with the days events.
Take just 10 minutes to conduct a simple mantra or breathing meditation to start your day.
Number 5: Practice gratitude
We’ve all heard of the power of gratitude. It helps to switch your brain from a state of lack to a state of expansion. By establishing a regular gratitude practice you can shift so many aspects of your life. I’ve been practicing gratitude daily for so long I now have something I call ’20 points of gratitude’. Everyday I write down 20 things I’m grateful for, and each day that list could be doubled.
Regular gratitude helps you truly appreciate your life from all angles. I know many people struggle with this, but one approach that could help is this. Imagine what your life would be like without essentials, fresh water to drink, a supermarket close buy to get all the nutritious food you want, the money in your account to subscribe to Netflix. You’ll be surprised at how quickly these points of gratitude expand.
Number 6: Stretch your body
When you wake up, and climb out of bed, the first thing you do naturally is yawn and stretch. This actually has a name pandiculating.
One of the most common reasons behind stretching is that during sleep fluid tends to accumulate along the back and stretching helps to massage the fluid gently back into its normal place and realign our muscles. That’s probably why it also feels so good to stretch, because we’re putting everything back into it’s natural place.
Also a full body stretch helps to activate the parasympathetic nervous system that is responsible for the body’s ability to recover, increase blood flow and help with digestion. Ideally you should be doing some more active stretching such as yoga in the morning.
When I was training in Ayurveda, I was taught to practice sun salutations daily. Which was fine for a while, but I actually found them quite tedious! Instead I practice a range of stretches working from top to toe for about 10 minutes. If you have more time, then yes a full yoga session would be perfect but for most of us we just want to get on with our day rather than spending 90 minutes in between downward dog and corpse poses.
Number 7: Make your bed
This is such a simple habit to get into and although it can seem incredibly trivial making your bed everyday does serve some other purposes. Naval Admiral William McRaven, the commander of U.S. Special Operations said in a speech at the University of Texas.
Not only is it one small task achieved each day. If you are an entrepreneur or starting your business from home, and use your bedroom as your office, making your bed is even more important. It helps to establish space in the room, clear energy, set boundaries and signal to your brain that the work day is about to start.
Number 8: The 3 Goals list
Setting out tasks for the day is a core part of not just ensuring you get work done but also feeling accomplished. This is regardless of where your attention gets taken during the day. Keeping your to-do list to three short goals each day is a great way to ensure you don’t get overwhelmed in an avalanche of minutiae.
For example, if you’re building your website, you know that the overall site needs to be completed by a certain date but today you only need to build one page. Simply put that in your to-do and that’s it. Do this with the 3 most important things you need to get done each day. You don’t need a mammouth to-do list; one that needs rewriting and makes you feel inadequate because you cant complete all your tasks. Just focus on three things that can help you progress daily.
If you want to manage your days better, following elements of this morning routine is guaranteed to show you how to become more productive.
I have been practicing this routine for a while now and whilst I don’t encourage people try to incorporate all these changes at once. By just adding one practice into your routine until it becomes second nature before adding another you’ll soon find things become much easier.