Years of practice, a slew of failures, efforts, lessons, and milestones are some of the known ingredients of success.
But lives of successful people like Tim Cook, Michelle Obama, Ursula Burns, Jeff Immelt, Indra Nooyi, Dan Lee, Jack Dorsey, Kevin O’-Leary, and Richard Branson tell us a different story.
All these great personalities have proved that “success isn’t just about hard work and sound financed commercial decisions. It’s about personal habits.”
Though their morning routines may vary, they all share one common habit — waking up incredibly early in the morning.
I wasn’t supposed to bore you with habits like waking up early, meditation, or reading-writing sh*t. The internet is flooded with those articles.
I’ve got some different habits of successful people that are likely to shock you.
So, without much ado, let me share some of the most uncommon, unheard, and less popular habits these super-productive people possess to exploit the first hour of the morning.
1. They spend time with family
Life is not just about making money or building a business empire.
Family first — the golden rule many successful people follow.
Andrew Yang (CEO OF the Venture group)checks on his wife and son first in the morning. Then, if his son is awake, he spends time with him before heading to the office or hitting the gym.
Bob Ferguson (Attorney General of Washington State) wakes between 5 and 6:30 a.m. Then he wakes his children and wife up and begins to make breakfast for the family to enjoy some quality time together.
So, successful people start making their paradise by spending some quality time with their families and making them happy.
According to a study, this morning ritual helps them improve their personal relationships and live a longer, fuller life.
George Bernard Shaw once quoted in 1902:
“A happy family is but an earlier heaven.”
So, morning is not only the best time to bond with your family, but it also ensures a full day’s productivity and healthy well-being.
2. They restore the bed to an unslept-in condition
What’s the first thing you do when you get off your bed?
Maybe freshen up or drink water or make some coffee!
But, making the bed is the last thing we notice to do as a morning ritual. For productive people, that’s the first.
Randall Bell, a socio-economist who has studied successful people’s lifestyles for over twenty-five years, says,
“Those who do their chores and keep their living space tidier tend to make more money. And those who make their bed in the morning are up to 206.8 percent more likely to be millionaires.”
Now that’s a shocker!
Well, there’s a psychological link between “making the bed” and productivity. A research survey concludes that making your bed leads to healthy habits like:
- Following rules
- Keeping clean
- Tracking finances
- Setting and tracking personal goals, etc.
That’s more than we can expect or anticipate. Charles Duhigg suggests (in his book Power of Habit) that:
“Making your bed every morning is correlated with better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.”
So, straightening the bedsheet or folding the blanket might look like a trivial task but accomplishing it sets the tone for the day.
3. They don’t plan in the morning
Most successful people use their previous day’s bedtime to plan their next day’s activity. So, as soon as the alarm goes off, the “work mode” kicks in.
Productivity doesn’t mean work. It means doing what you have decided. Productivity does not signify the maximum utilization of just time. It involves managing all your resources — energy, emotions, feelings, etc. The moment you wake up, your cortisol levels are at their peak for two hours. That means you’re alert, attentive, and supercharged for the first two hours.
Super fertile minds know this fact, and they make the most of it by not wasting it in planning.
Benjamin Franklin believed that planning the day in the morning was like wasting the day. So, he always planned his day the previous night to get going as soon as he woke up.
Fortune Senior Editor Geoff Colvin also says,
“I’m a big believer in to-do lists. I then identify the most important items and force myself to do those first, which is usually hard.
Planning out your day the previous night not only helps to reduce the decision-making anxiety the next morning, but it frees the mind from worrying about significant tasks throughout the day.”
Abraham Lincoln also advised:
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”
So, if you were to accomplish something huge the other day, preparation starts the day before. If you’re going to fulfill your dreams tomorrow, you must have your plans ready today.
These morning habits of successful people signify that a morning ritual must not be complicated or over-ambitious.
Instead, they must be simple, refreshing, energizing, and productive at the same time.
Most of the morning habits that we know require a lot of dedication and willpower, while these practices mentioned above involve just some awareness and attention.