Want to get a rise out of people? Just bring up the topic of morning routines. People are very defensive about their decisions to wake up early or sleep in. And they’re even more protective of what they do with the time between when they rise and when they start working.
While there’s no singular approach to crafting a morning routine, intentionality is very important. Either you control the morning, or your day will control you. And as an entrepreneur, studying some of the trends and best practices of other successful people will give you a chance to thrive in all circumstances.
Morning Routines Matter
Want to win the day? Develop a compelling morning routine.
“Most of us would agree that having a healthy morning routine allows you to achieve your goals and ambitions easier and faster,” Dovile Sinke writes for 21 Day Hero. “In fact, several health benefits such as better mental health, lower stress levels, increased energy, improved sleep quality etc. can be achieved as a consequence of having a daily morning routine.”
According to Sinke’s research, the most successful people tend to share common traits and aspects. For one, 86 percent of successful people rise before 7 a.m. (And one in three people are up before 6 a.m.) Secondly, they participate in positive morning activities that stimulate their minds and bodies:
- 65 percent of successful people exercise in the morning
- 38 percent of successful people spend time reading emails and preparing for work
- 22 percent of successful people read in the morning
- 22 percent of successful people practice mindfulness in the morning
- 22 percent of successful people practice gratitude in the morning
- 20 percent of successful people enjoy family time in the morning
By contrast, just seven percent of successful people spend time on social media as part of their morning routine. In other words, the goal is to implement edifying habits into your routine – not ones that create stress, anxiety, or unhealthy tension. You’ll also notice there’s no mention of the news, TV, video games, or excessive screen time.
4 Tips for a Better Morning Routine
As you think about developing or reshaping your morning routine to become a more productive and successful entrepreneur, here are a few tips to bear in mind:
1. Take Care of Yourself
Self-care isn’t something that we discuss much in entrepreneurial circles. But if you want to be successful, you have to tend to your own need to be loved and cared for.
Self-care can take on any number of shapes and forms, but it’s a good idea to include at least one or two acts in your morning routine. The key is to take something that you’re already doing and to slow it down. For example:
- Instead of hastily grabbing a disposable five-blade razor and shaving while listening to the news, buy a safety razor and take your time shaving. Take your time with each pass and finish the shave with some soothing after-shave.
- Instead of grabbing a breakfast bar and rushing out of the house, chop fresh ingredients, and make yourself an omelet while listening to some relaxing tunes.
These are both intentional acts of self-care. They show respect and purpose – something we could all benefit from these days.
2. Avoid Friction
The goal is to make your morning routine as beneficial and smooth as possible. This means avoiding as much friction as you can. If there are certain parts of your morning that you don’t like, knock these tasks out the night before. (This might include getting the coffee pot ready and setting the automatic timer, laying out your clothes, packing your lunch, etc.)
3. Be Predictable
Predictability is not something most entrepreneurs enjoy, but your morning routine is one place where it’s acceptable to stick with the status quo. Predictability – including a repeatable chain of activities and events – reduces the mental energy and focus required to get ready for the day. This allows you to conserve energy and effort for the most important tasks of the day.
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Change
As a final note, you don’t have to carve your morning routine into stone. While you should give your routine at least 12 weeks to cement itself, you should also feel the freedom to pivot when things aren’t working. Your morning routine needs to be your morning routine. Just because it works for someone else, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work for you. Be comfortable with letting your routine evolve to serve your best interests.
What’s Your Morning Routine?
There’s no better time to create a morning routine than now. Start small and develop a manageable routine that allows you to start your workday with momentum, optimism, and focus. You’ve got this!