Another week, another opportunity to fuel your hustle! In this article, we would be focusing on an underutilised tool in this race for success; Mornings! A lot of people do not understand the untapped potential that mornings hold and how it can set the right pace for your growth and enhancement.
The truth is we’re at our peak in the mornings. This is why Mark McGuinness suggests the single most important change you can make to your workday is to move your creative time to mornings. We’re more mentally alert and our mental batteries are charged. Unfortunately, we spend all of this energy on several frivolities that would not contribute to our success journey. However, you’re in luck as there is another way
Celebrity author, Laura Vanderkam who has written several time- management and productivity books, including Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, and 168 Hours, studied successful people and she wrote about her findings in her 2012 book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. She discovered that early mornings were when they had the most control over their own schedules. They used this time to work on their priorities.
According to the book, here are 3 things successful people do before breakfast:
- Early to rise
In a poll of 20 executives cited by Vanderkam, 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. Former PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 a.m. and is in the office no later than 7 a.m. Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read, and Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to jog. Successful people understand that time is an important commodity. Hence, they wake up early to ensure they have time to focus on themselves and their personal projects. Basically, productive days have to start with early wake-up calls.
The top morning activity of the successful and powerful seems to be exercise, be it lifting weights at home or going to the gym. For example, Vanderkam notes that former Xerox CEO, Ursula Burns schedules an hour-long personal training session at 6 a.m. twice a week. Plus, “Shark Tank” investor, Kevin O’Leary gets up at 5:45 every morning and jumps on the elliptical or exercise bike, and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk starts every day with an hour-long workout with his trainer. “These are incredibly busy people,” says Vanderkam. “If they make time to exercise, it must be important.”
Beyond the fact that exercising in the morning means they can’t later run out of time, Vanderkam says a pre-breakfast workout helps reduce stress later in the day, counteracts the effects of a high-fat diet, and improves sleep.
- They work on a top-priority business project
After waking early and exercising, the quiet hours of the morning is the best time to focus on an important work project without being interrupted. What’s more, spending time on it at the beginning of the day ensures that it gets your attention before other things like kids, employees, bosses.
Vanderkam uses the example of a business strategist who dealt with so many ad hoc meetings and interruptions throughout the day that she felt she couldn’t get anything done. She started thinking of the early mornings as project time and chose a top-priority project each day to focus on. Sure enough, not a single colleague dropped in on her at 6:30 a.m. She could finally concentrate and achieve her goal.
Hence, it is important that you adopt these simple, yet effective, strategies to turn your mornings to greatness. With discipline and hard work, you’re well on your way to the top.