Science has proved that willpower is highest in the morning and depletes as the day passes. What are some examples of the morning routines and habits of successful people? This answer by Alok Sharma, intern at IIRS-ISRO, originally appeared on Quora: The best answer to any question.
The day begins with the morning, and how well you utilize your morning decides how well you utilize your day. The morning habits of successful people vary, but a few common and helpful practices emerge. They
1. Wake up early.
2. Decide and review what to do for the day.
3. Work out.
4. Have a healthy breakfast.
5. Maintain a journal.
7. Finish difficult tasks with focused work.
8. Outlearn their competition.
1. They wake up early
What do Benjamin Franklin, Ernest Hemingway, Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz, Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi, Twitter and Square founder Jack Dorsey, and many, many other successful people have in common? They all wake up early; any time from 4 to 5:30 a.m., they’re up, while their not-so-successful competitors are comfortably in their beds, dreaming about how to beat the titans.
2. They decide and review what to do for the day
Most successful people review, plan, and look into their goals, strategies, and motivations before starting the day. They have clarity of vision, and this clarity breeds mastery that they can unleash in their work. This goes hand in hand with journaling (point 5).
Apple CEO Tim Cook can be seen in the gym around 5 a.m. Jack Dorsey goes for a six-mile jog, while Unilever CEO Paul Polman runs on a treadmill.
All successful people understand that they need a highly functioning body, without diseases and stress, to face the day and perform some of the most challenging and inspiring tasks in the world. Science says that working out releases endorphins that help reduce stress; it also maximizes energy and keeps you all-around healthy.
4. They have a healthy breakfast
Some do it at home, some in the car, and some in the office, but all successful people have a healthy breakfast. Richard Branson has a breakfast early in the morning, while Hain Celestial CEO Irwin Simon has a breakfast meeting. Procter & Gamble CEO A.G. Lafley says: “I used to eat virtually nothing for breakfast. Now I have a V-8 juice, half a bagel, and a cup of yogurt. And I eat five or six times a day. It’s about managing your glycemic level. You don’t want to boom and bust.”
It’s a good thing to have complex carbohydrates that slowly break down and release energy as the day goes by.
Some call it a gratitude journal, some call it an idea journal, some simply call it a record or a plain-old diary. Mark Twain, George S. Patton, Thomas Jefferson, George Lucas, Charles Darwin, Ernest Hemingway, and Ludwig van Beethoven all kept a journal. They recorded their thoughts, ideas, gratitude, plans, strategies, goals, progress, and reminders.
Journaling is a powerful tool for planning, strategizing, reflecting, tracking progress, keeping ideas, motivating, and inspiring. It’s a doorway to yourself.
6. They meditate
Madonna, Hugh Jackman, Liv Tyler, Jennifer Aniston, Oprah Winfrey, Sir Paul McCartney, and Jack Dorsey meditate daily to improve focus, bring clarity and peace of mind, eliminate distractions, reduce stress, and boost health.
7. They finish difficult tasks with focused work
Successful people recognize that focus, energy, and willpower are far more valuable resources than money. To do any task masterfully requires focus, energy, and willpower. With daily practice, successful people transform their habits into rituals; they reach a level of automation so they can utilize their resources on even more demanding tasks.
After reflecting, planning, and strategizing about their goals, successful people begin work with the focused execution of the most challenging but most rewarding tasks, early in the morning, so that they can finish other tasks that require lesser resources later in the day. Science has proved that willpower is highest in the morning and depletes as the day passes.
8. They outlearn their competition
Successful people outlearn everyone around them. They’re obsessed with learning. They’re voracious readers. Barack Obama, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, and Disney CEO Bob Iger read and learn. They finish newspapers, books, audio books, journals, and magazines like Harvard Business Review, Inc., or Forbes while their not-so-committed peers waste their time on worthless entertainment.