While many of us cringe at the very thought of waking up before 8 AM, people who taste success in their lives our usually people who start their day early. They are ready to go that extra mile, and that is precisely why they reach their goals sooner than most others. For most of us, getting up early and getting ready for work seems like a Herculean task. We’re all experts in the art of procrastination. But you have to set your priorities straight, because as we all know “tomorrow” never comes. If there is something that needs to be done, do it as soon as you wake up whilst you’re fresh and not weighed down by the hustle and bustle of daily life.
That is what Laura Vanderkam says,
“If it has to happen, then it has to happen first”
Hundreds of successful businessmen and entrepreneurs have admitted that the key to their success is waking up early and completing pending work before breakfast. So you see, just aspiring to be successful is not enough; you could follow these simple morning mantras to help you throughout your day.
Wake Up Really Early!
Waking up early doesn’t mean waking up at 7; Robin Sharma, a famous motivational speaker believes that joining the 5 AM club increases your productivity. Waking up before sunrise gives you a strange sense of peace and tranquility, and in a city, it really is the the only time to you get to experience the fresh air on your face and take in the beauty all around you. Even if you are not working, simply sitting by the balcony or the window can help. It allows you to chalk out your day, without other people bothering you every step of the way. Look at Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. He wakes up at 4:30 AM every day, just like Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney. Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsico takes it a step further by waking up at 4 everyday.
Early Morning Meditation
Ever wondered what keeps the Prime Minister of India going? According to Narendra Modi, it is meditating at the crack of dawn. Meditation helps you focus yourself, think about what’s important and calms you down. The life of an entrepreneur is extremely stressful, with new problems cropping up everyday. The only way to avoid getting unnerved or help you get through the day is to sit in a quiet portion of your house and meditate for a while. While you might argue that breathing in and breathing is a waste of time, meditating helps you become more optimistic as it drives away negativity and health problems as well, if you’ve been feeling a little under the weather.
Planning and Strategizing
“A man who does not plan will find trouble at his door”– Confucius
While planning may not seem like a priority when you’re young, it becomes almost a necessity as you grow older and your responsibilities increase. As an entrepreneur, you will never have a moment’s peace throughout the day. Therefore, it would be impractical to sit down and plan in the evening, when you’re exhausted and your brain is overworked. Plan your day early in the morning, to have an idea of how the day is going to turn out. Make a list of the things you have to do, even your meals and breaks! While planning, never put the menial tasks ahead of the hard ones, I make it a point to finish the hardest jobs before noon, so that I can stop worrying about them incessantly. Now of course, unexpected things do happen in the course of the day, but working in a haphazard manner will only ensure that none of your work is completed in due time.
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An Hour of Cardio or Intense Workout
The notion that people work out just to lose weight is a myth, in actuality, people work out to increase their fitness quotient. The rich and the famous make it a point to wake up early and dedicate at least an hour to the gym. Have you ever come across a successful businessman/businesswoman who appears diseased or fat? That is because they take good care of their bodies and their mind. The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk works more than 12 hours a day. Without some time specifically reserved for working out, Musk would not have the stamina necessary for such strenuous work. Kevin O’Leary, the investor of Shark Tank, makes it a point to wake up at quarter to six everyday and hops on to an exercise bike. Gary Vaynerchuk too works out for an hour with his personal trainer. These famous people and their working out habits should motivate you to start hitting the gym as soon as possible.
Stay Up-to-date On the News
An important trait in any successful businessman is to be up-to-date on everything that’s happening in the world today. Why else do you think Warren Buffett reads a mind-boggling 6 newspapers before heading to work? With easy access to internet, you do not even have to wait for the newspapers. You can simply read the news on your phone. Jeff Immelt, the CEO of GE religiously follows his routine of reading the newspaper and watching CNBC after working out.
Family Comes First!
You may be a successful businessman with the whole world at your beck and call, but you can never enjoy true success unless you lay more emphasis on your personal life than your professional. You cannot take your family for granted when the days become long and hectic. Wake up early and help your spouse prepare breakfast or go for a jog in the park together. Help your kids as they get ready for school. These might appear small and insignificant, but actually go a long way in strengthening your bonds.
A Daily Dose of Early Morning Optimism
We’ve all been through phases where our lives seem like a tremendous burden that we’re carrying around on our shoulders. On such days, you might not even want to get out of bed. But once you do, and breathe, you simultaneously breathe out the negativity of the day that went by. Telling yourself that you’re going to have a great day is actually the only way to make sure you do. You might have a top priority presentation that day, or an important client to impress. And a positive mind can help you ensure that the day goes off smoothly. You can also write down everything you’re grateful for, like entrepreneur Tim Ferriss does. It helps you look at the bigger picture, and makes you more content and satisfied as a person.
Making Your Own Bed
Now this might seem like a mundane task, and you might ask how this will help you increase your productivity. Every action that you take has a chain reaction; making your bed is not just a good habit, but is also a sign of an organized mind. Charles Duhigg made an interesting observation, he said that apart from increasing productivity, making your bed also instils “a greater sense of well being and stronger skills at sticking with a budget“. Good habits are characteristic of a strong personality, an important trait in every successful businessman.
Pursue Your Hobbies
Sometimes, it would probably be wiser to start your day with something light, taking into account the already hectic day ahead of you. You could listen to your favorite music, especially soothing sound tracks. Music has been found to fill your mind with positivity and give you the motivation you deserve. You could plug in your headphones, and retreat into a world of your own before you are pulled into the real one. Some businessmen have been known to wake up early and read their favorite book, or paint as it helps them relax.
A Healthy, Nutritious Breakfast
As a businessman, you need to be energetic and enthusiastic at all times. And an oily breakfast or a heavy one like waffles and generous helpings of maple syrup will not help. It will only leave you feeling too full and dull. You should go for something healthy, like a bowl of cereal. Richard Branson has had a steady diet of fruit salad with muesli since forever, and there can honestly be nothing healthier than that.
If you haven’t been inspired already to turn your life around, this message by Barrack Obama is sure to do the trick –
“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek”