Study after study has proved it. And if you ask almost high achiever; any big time CEO, professional athlete, politician or mover and shaker out there, and they will agree; the most successful people are morning people, starting their day early to get a leg up on the competition and a head start on their busy day, even if doing so is not really in their natural make-up.
But there is more to their morning routines than setting their alarm clocks early. Adopting a similar morning ritual to those practiced by the high-fliers can benefit you to, starting with some (or all) of these (morning) habits.
Get Up an Hour Before You Need To
Many of us leave getting up to the last possible minute (and are further encouraged to do so by the snooze button.) However, studies have shown that those who get up at least an hour before they really need to tend to be more organized, optimistic and better able to anticipate and deal with problems, all of which are crucial traits for true success.
Harness the Power of Visualization
As you now have that extra time because you are getting up earlier, take a few minutes to visualize how you expect the day ahead to play out, including any challenges you think might pop up. Research has shown that those who make a habit of doing this for just two minutes in the morning are better prepared to face their day and perform better throughout it.
Make Time for Breakfast
No matter how many times they have heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day (way back to when their Mum used to repeat the mantra before school) many people still skip an early morning meal. But you really do benefit from fueling up on a healthy breakfast, both in terms of increased and energy and increased focus.
Allow Yourself Some Quiet Time
Just a few minute’s silence in the morning is terribly refreshing and a great way to focus. If the weather is decent take that breakfast outside, or at least sit by a window with a view and just take it in quietly for a few minutes.
Plan to Tackle the Big Tasks First
On most days we all have that one big task that we expect will be both a challenge and a bit of a pain. By planning to make it one of the first things you take on you’ll feel a real sense of relief once it’s over and the rest of day should flow far more smoothly.
Brainstorm a Motivational Mantra
Some people feel a bit silly following this piece of advice but many highly successful people swear it works. Repeating a personal morning mantra can really help you focus and relax and it can be whatever you like.
Get Moving in the Morning
Even setting aside just five to ten minutes to get moving in the morning, whether it’s ten minutes on the treadmill or five minutes of intense cardio, has been proven in a number of studies to improve energy levels and mental focus for the rest of the day. Need some help? An app like this one, Hot5Fitness, can give you the motivation – and the workout – you need.
Clear Away the Clutter, Literally
Clearing your mind for the day ahead is one thing, but it also helps to physically clear the clutter as well. Throwing out the junk from your bag, your car or even doing a quick bit of desk based housekeeping first thing in the morning is tremendously satisfying!
Go to Bed Earlier
If you are going to get into the habit of getting up earlier you really need to do the same at the other end of the day and go to bed earlier as well. Adequate sleep is not only essential for the proper focus in the morning but a lack of it not only leads to mental sluggishness but recent studies have shown it can even lead to weight gain that holds you back as well.