Whether it’s rising with the sun to get a jump on the day or hitting the snooze button as many times as possible, we all have different morning routines. Nobody can tell you the perfect way to structure your morning, but if you’re hoping to reinvigorate yourself or your business, start by taking a hard look at how you begin the day.
And if you’re looking for inspiration, many of the industry’s top performers and the world’s most successful people follow a similar set of morning rituals. From getting up early to setting goals, here are five things many of the world’s most successful people do before getting to work.
1. Up and at ‘em
The easiest way to make your mornings more meaningful is to make them longer, and there’s only one way to do that — get up earlier.
Laura Vanderkam, author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”, said 90% of executives wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. Many of the world’s most successful people get up even earlier.
In addition to giving you the time needed to complete the rest of your morning routine, getting up with the sun gives you the necessary quiet time to gather your thoughts and prepare for the day. And especially for brokers leading busy lives, starting early helps you gain control of your business by granting you the time to plan your day.
2. Set goals
Top performing brokers set goals, and most do so in the quiet of the morning. Setting goals gives you clear objectives to work towards, and that clarity hones your focus and helps guide you to the finish line.
In addition to setting weekly goals, it’s helpful to break down larger goals into smaller steps. To be more precise, set daily goals that will bring you closer to achieving larger aspirations. While it’s important to update your checklist as the day progresses, begin your day with focus and set clear goals every morning.
3. Keep a journal
Our memory isn't usually as good as we think it is. That’s why it’s important to actually write goals down, not just keep them in our heads. It’s also why many top brokers keep some type of journal handy.
It could be a physical journal, an app on your phone or even, in cases of emergency, a post-it note. Whatever it is, use a journal to write down important ideas that come to you. And since our willpower tends to be highest in the morning, keep a journal on hand to write down new strategies you come up during the course of your morning routine.
4. Put down the phone
Unlike many other professionals, brokers are surrounded by uncertainty. While it’s tempting to reach for your phone first thing in morning to see if your latest prospecting efforts paid off, a bit of time off the grid can do wonders.
Studies show being glued to your smartphone hurts your sleep and can even make it harder to think. So while you certainly need your phone during the day, embrace the time in the morning to just think in peace and quiet. Not only is a bit of daily silence restorative, but disconnecting from your phone in the morning makes it easier to focus on the rest of your morning routine.
It’s no secret exercise keeps you healthy, gives you more energy, and reduces stress. With benefits like that, it’s no wonder many of the world’s most successful people love to work out.
But when the day gets busy, we tend to have a way of postponing exercise — often indefinitely. To ensure they actually get their workout in, many highly successful people exercise first thing in the morning. It’s a great way to wake up, prepare for the day and accomplish something important before even getting to the office.
In addition to exercise, a huge percentage of top performers meditate. From brokers to surfers, Tim Ferriss interviewed 140 people at the pinnacle of their fields and found that about 90% practice some type of meditation. Ferriss said most of the people he spoke with meditate for 20 minutes every morning.
As American historian Will Durant famously summed up Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
So whether you’re looking to supercharge your business or rekindle your motivation, start by examining your morning routine. What you do when you wake up sets the tone for the rest of the day, and from working out to setting goals, learn from the world’s top performers and kick your day off right.