We’ve waxed lyrical in the past about the benefits of setting your alarm a few hours earlier and making the most of the quiet of the dawn before the rest of the world around you wakes up. But what you do with these hours is essential; it’s no good rising at 5am to sit there and watch mindless TV or hit snooze 10 times. Here’s what some of the world’s most successful do to ensure that their days are the most productive they can be.
They wake up early
It’s been said that 5am is the critical time to set your alarm to make sure that you’re making the most of the morning without being so tired that you fall flat on your face by 10am. If you aim to be in the office by 8am, that gives you at least 2 hours to yourself before you start being pulled in all kinds of different directions.
They hit the gym
Making exercise your first priority is an amazing way to set yourself up for the day before evening comes around and you’re too exhausted to even think about getting there. It’s been said that a pre-breakfast workout can help reduce stress later in the day, can counteract the effects of high-fat diet and kick-start your metabolism and can improve sleep. Tim Cook, Richard Branson and Obama have all waxed lyrical about the early morning workout.
Taking 10 minutes out first thing in the morning to focus on yourself before the day gets busy has been proven time and time again to be one of the biggest stress busters. Jack Dorsey has long credited a quick meditation after his morning workout as helping him manage his 18-hour day. Don’t knock meditation until you’ve tried it…
They check their emails
Many of the world’s most successful will work across a number of different time zones, and therefore will have received emails from across the globe in the middle of the night. Instead of letting these emails brew in their inbox, top-level businessmen and women get these dealt with early on in the day so that they can focus on tasks closer to home.
They spend an hour working on a top-priority project
Many top-level businessmen will have hundreds of people pulling them in different directions the second they walk into the office, so sitting at home and spending that crucial first hour working on a looming top-priority project ensures that critical time in put in while the mind is fresh and before the day runs away with you.
They make a to-do list - and stick to it
Being able to make a to-do list and to actually stick to it is crucial for guaranteed success in the work place. Time management is an essential trait of the world’s most successful and making a to-do list within your first hour after waking up when you’re still fresh is the perfect way to ensure you make the most out of your day.
They make themselves a healthy breakfast
Heading straight for a black coffee and a sugar-laden pastry might seem like a good idea in the moment, but it’s only going to give you a 10am energy slump just in time for your morning meetings. Chugging a litre of water and making yourself a fibre-filled bowl of porridge or avocado on toast is the perfect way to ensure that you have all of the natural energy your body needs for the day ahead.