Updated: Oct 24, 2020
" Following three simple morning habits can help set you up for success. I have followed these habits for years and they have helped me with my success."
By: Allan R Kirby
Morning Habits of Successful People
If there is one thing I have learned over the 20 years of working as a professional is that following a relatively well defined morning routine will help you succeed with your career. A routine is a set of habits that you go through each morning to help you organize your time, prepare your day, and accomplish more.
“What is the best early morning habit for success? Getting up early and following a routine! Successful people never sleep in. They wake up early to plan for the day.”
1. Getting up Early and starting the day is key to success
Your morning can dictate the rest of your workday. It's no wonder that so many successful business people follow strict morning routines. If you ask any successful person how do they begin their day, you will get a consistent response, getting up early.
It may seem simple and even unimportant but I have found there are many benefits. First and foremost getting up early allows me to get a head start on getting my day planned out. Late risers are always going to be in a rush. This applies even when working from home and not just going to the office. Secondly, I have learned over time that when I do get up early I can:
Plan my day out.
Have a list of priorities ready.
Prepared for my daily meetings.
Reports and presentations are well prepared and not sloppy.
Allows me time to deal with unexpected issues.
The last is the most important and one that reduces my stress the most. I have found over the years that when issues arise, they seem to always happen in the morning but because I am well organized, I can deal with them quickly and effectively.
“What is a good daily routine? A good daily routine is one that enables a person to free up time to manage work and family life while reducing stress and helps you live a healthier life. Each person needs to come up with a routine that works best for them."
I lost count on the number of times later risers got to work late as a result of traffic or were unprepared at unexpected meetings or just did not have the latest information required to help facilitate decision making. In all cases, late risers seem to be disorganized and always one step behind everyone. Now I fully understand that there may be health issues or women trying to juggle kids and work, but in almost all the cases I have seen over my years of experience, this is not the case.
It's often explained as a paradox, getting up and planning your day actually does free up your time to do other things but this is true. I have found that I have so much more time to get things done when I am up early and moving. Anytime in my lifetime where I sleep in, I have found myself totally disorganized and end up not getting much accomplished. It speaks to the power of having a routine.
“What is the healthiest morning routine? The healthiest routine is a consistent one, does not overly stress you, and includes exercise and eating healthier foods. Studies have found people tend to lead healthier and balance life when they develop and maintain a morning routine."
I have learned to take my habits into the weekend as well. Now I do adjust a little but I nevertheless still get up early and get moving. One of the biggest benefits is that I go to the supermarket at 7 am and get all my shopping done. What I love about this routine is that it's not only incredibly stress-free, there is no traffic getting there! Only one or two customers in the store and I can get all the deals and return home before 8 am. This is an incredibly great routine because I get my shopping done early leaving the rest of the day for myself. I would have never been able to blog on weekends or even weekdays if I was disorganized and did not plan my time.
“Why do I struggle with routine? The toughest part of a routine is sticking to it, if you are struggling with your routine, you may need to adjust a little in order to help you rebalance. I have struggled with some of my routines over the years and learned that by making small adjustments can have a big impact. ”
What happens when I do get lazy
In fact, every so often I have not followed my routine, and guess what, I end up frustrated and feeling disorganized. Specifically, I end up:
Feeling Disorganized and rushed.
I do not get work done.
Feel stressed and unproductive.
A key issue that I have found over the years is that anytime I am off my routine, I tend to make mistakes, usually small mistakes that end up costing me additional time and causing delays in some of the projects I am working on.
“What is the healthiest way to start your day? Developing a manageable routine. One issue I have found with my morning routine is trying to do too much. Creating a simple routine that involves getting up early, preparing myself for the day along with a learning activity along with exercising and eating healthy is the best way to start your day."
I speak both French and English but years ago I found I was almost exclusively speaking English, as a result, I committed myself to speak french with a tutor three times a week. This is not stressful at all since I just do a half-hour conversation but it keeps me engaged in another language and it challenges me to improve on my ability to translate between the two languages. I am now studying a little in Spanish and will likely continue long into my retirement. Again I owe my multi-language skills to my ability to time manage in the morning.
Tech and business news.
This has been one of the best advantages of having a routine as a professional, keeping up with current technology and business news. Recently a conversation came up about on-premise vs off-site cloud computing solutions. Luckily I had just read a few articles that very morning and could provide input on several recent developments with on-prem solutions. All I can say is it clearly showed my depth and breadth of knowledge and I owe it all to my early morning learning routine
I believe exercise is important as part of a routine, regardless if it's done in the morning or evening. I realized this the most when Covid-19 hit because I initially did not exercise for about a week. I began to feel a little more sluggish and I was having problems sleeping. I am not an expert however the gap in exercising noticeably caused me to have sleeping issues. I was waking up in the night and having difficulty getting back to sleep. This continued until I got myself back into exercising again. It was the first time I realized how valuable exercising has on my health, I was less sluggish, more active, and able to get back on track.
As noted in an article from John Hopkins medicine, based on available studies, “We have solid evidence that exercise does help you fall asleep more quickly and improves sleep quality,” says Charlene Gamaldo, M.D., medical director of Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital.
There are additional benefits to exercising with includes the following;
Exercise can decrease feelings of depression, anxiety, and stress.
It Can Increase Your Energy Levels.
Helps control weight and improve brain functions.
Exercise combats health conditions and diseases such as heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
“What are good morning habits? Getting up early, reading, and learning new things and exercising.”
Have a routine
There is no question that my morning routine has freed me to spend more time doing the things I need to do to stay on top of my game. Since I am on a routine and well organized I find I have more time on my hands. The routine has kept me in good health, up to date with my skills and knowledge and I seem to be less stressed and relaxed compared to many others. But don’t take it from me, if you take the time and read about many of our most successful entrepreneurs and professionals, you will find they follow the same ideals as I do.
However anytime I get off my routine I become disorganized and end up not getting much accomplished. It is a paradox because I find a routine that allows me more time whereas getting out of my routine leaves me disorganized and behind schedule.
Good luck and find a morning routine that works for you.
This is an article written by Allan Kirby for the My Success section of MySmallBank.com a section of our website dedicated to younger adults to learn more about careers, money management, retirement, and savings.