We’re all working with the same 24 hours in a day. So how come it seems successful CEOs accomplish more by lunchtime than most people get done in a week? Extreme productivity starts with good work habits and a disciplined morning routine. Go-getters like Richard Branson, Warren Buffett, Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg are all up at dawn. You know what they say, run the day or the day runs you. So follow these tips and start your morning like a boss.
And we mean real early. The successful CEOs of Apple and Starbucks are both known to wake up before 4 am. Whether it’s to embrace quiet time, chase foreign markets or do business with companies located in other time zones these early birds catch all the worms. Early risers make time for uninterrupted focus. However, the ability to function at such a high level on very little sleep is a gift. Sleep deprivation affects your mental health and creativity. If you’re like the rest of us and require a solid 8 hours, get to bed earlier. Need help falling asleep? White noise machines, essential oils, and a hot bath before bed can all help signal your body that it's time to shut down for some shuteye.
There's never a wrong time to mediate. But setting aside time to practice mindfulness before heading into the office can set you up for a more productive day. Need help getting started? Apps like Headspace and Calm can help you stay present in all kinds of stressful moments. Just ask Oprah, Tony Robbins, and Lebron James. According to Huffpost.com, “Brain scans of meditators versus non-meditators shows that mindfulness meditation helps to trigger the relaxation response, the opposite of fight or flight. By improving emotional intelligence and promoting the importance of listening to co-workers and peers, a mindfulness meditation practice can decrease the number of conflicts that arise in the workplace.” Visualize yourself walking into the office with your shoulders relaxed, your fists and jaw unclenched and you'll start your day more focused and less anxious.
Time management is the key to a successful workday. And nothing can stop productivity in its tracks like an out of control, overflowing email box. According to Inc.com, “One survey found that the first thing most executives do in the morning is to check their email.” Executives like Apple’s CEO Tim Cook prefer to tackle their emails during their uninterrupted time first thing in the morning. And you can too. Just be sure, out of respect for your coworkers, to schedule responses and emails to go out during business hours as to not infringe on their personal time.
We all know the benefits of exercising. Specifically helpful to your workday, a good sweat sesh increases thinking skills, reduces stress, improves memory, increases creativity and helps you get more done. So it's no wonder, so many successful CEOs hit the gym. But how do they find the time? Business Insider took an excerpt from Laura Vanderkam’s book “What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast” and it’s not the type of workout that matters but fitting it in that counts. "Whatever the ritual, though, there is a reason for these early-morning routines. Successful people have priorities they want to tackle or things they like to do with their lives, and early mornings are the time when they have the most control of their schedules."
Reading is fundamental, especially for successful CEOs. According to CNBC.com, “Warren Buffett typically reads six newspapers each day: The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The USA Today, The Omaha World-Herald and American Banker.”And Medium.com goes on to add, “Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read, GE CEO Jeff Immelt reads the paper first thing in the morning.”Again, file reading under important morning rituals of highly successful people. Knowledge is power and prioritizing time to absorb the news of the day puts you out in front of the competition. Good morning, indeed!