Your morning affects your entire day. What you do or don’t do each day will influence how productive you are, how energetic you feel, what you accomplish and, ultimately, how successful you are as an entrepreneur.
If you’re an entrepreneur with a satisfying and motivating morning routine, you’re in good company. If not, don’t despair; take some inspiration from the morning routines of fellow entrepreneurs.
1. Wake up early
Many world-famous entrepreneurs that you follow on Twitter, read about in Entrepreneur and admire have one thing in common: They wake up early. When you wake up early, you have a greater sense of control over the day. For one thing, you get to decide what to do first, second and third.
By waking early, you also tend to have your greatest burst of energy, creativity and activity right from the start. This is the perfect time to slay some of the day’s bigger and brain-demanding tasks.
“Early” for you could be 9 a.m. or 10 a.m.. That’s okay. We all have our times of peak productivity.
2. Drink water
It’s really simple. Just drink water.
Adding a chug of water to your morning routine does several important things: It boosts your metabolism, cleans things up, gives you a boost of energy, makes you fully alert and helps your digestive system run smoothly.
Kat Cole of FOCUS (Auntie Anne’s, Carvel and Cinnabon) is religious about her water routine. The first thing she does after hopping out of bed is to drink three cups of the stuff.
Coffee is the morning beverage of choice for most Americans. And certainly, caffeine is extraordinary. You can still have your coffee. But, first, have a drink of water.
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3. Think about the most important things in your life
Many entrepreneurs focus on their goals as the first order of the day. By keeping their goals at the forefront of their minds, they are more likely to work hard toward those goals throughout the day.
Consider Shark Tank investor Kevin O’Leary. He’s a financial guy. So, the first thing he does after waking at 5:45 a.m. is to check the overseas bond markets. For O’Leary, the personal impact of those markets is enormous, and he wants to keep the information he gleans there present during his work day.
Entrepreneur contributor Matthew Toren, meanwhile, focuses on his 24-minute morning routine that begins with brushing his teeth and ends with stretching and meditation. Toren recommends looking at “key business initiatives for the day and how I might achieve them.”
Steve Jobs was famous for this statement about his morning routine: “For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Jobs’ suggestion was, and is, a great way to begin the day: a focused assessment of your life’s direction. Each day, every day, you should have goals: big ones, little ones, life goals, whatever. Take a few minutes to think about these. If they are truly important, they deserve some of your mental energy each morning.
In that vein, Danny Halarewich, the entrepreneur behind LemonStand, does five things every morning: 1. Reads his life mission aloud; 2. Thinks about the importance of his life mission; 3. Reflects on the progress he’s made toward his life mission; 4. Considers several things he’s thankful for; and 5. Reviews his top goals for the day
A short burst of contemplation like Halarewich’s can work wonders. You’ll enter your day focused, driven and committed to your goals. Even if you don’t know what your life mission is — yet –contemplating your immediate goals and their significance will help you focus.
4. Get active
Most of us are swivel chair-locked, meaning that we spend a lot of our day sitting down. That’s why the morning is a great time to get in your daily workout. Your willpower is most potent in the morning, so you have a better chance of following through on your workout commitments.
Starting the day with a workout won’t deplete your energy. Instead, it will give you more energy, which will improve your focus, and help you to be more productive.
Meditation is a powerful way to prepare your mind for the day, helping you fight the stress that will invariably come at some point during the day.
Your particular meditation needn’t take a long time. A simple three-to-10 minute meditation is perfect. Meditation isn’t complicated, either, and you don’t have to learn any mantras if you don’t want to. Meditation in its most basic form is simply breathing: free-flowing, deliberate and concentrated breathing.
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Brad Lande, the entrepreneur behind Birchbox, has a five-step morning routine. (Meditation is the second step on the list.):
- Hot water with lemon
- Face oil
- Breakfast smoothie
When you incorporate meditation into your morning routine, you’ll unfailingly experience greater calm and focus during your day, no matter how hectic things get. You’ll soon realize why so many entrepreneurs practice meditation every morning. For instance, entrepreneur Taylor Pearson says that with meditation: “It helps you handle the endless choices that confront you, and focus on what’s truly important.”
As an entrepreneur, you owe it to yourself to be the best you can be for your goals and for your business. And your mornings play a huge role in your success. So, find a routine that leaves you feeling focused, committed and prepared for your day, rather than practicing multiple routines and forcing yourself into a mold that isn’t right for you.
When you do find the right fit, you’ll experience a greater sense of general well-being and ease as you form these healthy habits.