Mornings — especially the early hours between waking and work — can set the tune for your whole day. And everyone from Deepak Chopra to Mark Twain seems to have attributed a special value to a specific morning routine or ritual.
But for many of us, our own attempts at morning rituals can be hit or miss. And a bad morning (or even a chaotic one) can mean missed opportunities and bad moods for the rest of the day. But it can be hard to develop a consistent morning habit — or just tricky to get ideas for how to fill our early hours.
Whatever your challenge, this week’s roundup has a ray of sunshine for you — and will help you answer 5 key morning routine questions:
1. What are the morning routines of leaders and celebrities?
This is for all of us who have read headlines about Steve Jobs or Oprah Winfrey and wondered How do they do it all?
Check out “Morning Rituals of Highly Successful People,” from Fleximize. The article not only answers the question, it charts the answers into an interactive bar graph that’s fun to peruse.
Wonder what Tim Cook does between waking up (at a ghastly 3:45am) and stepping into work? Float your mouse over the bar graph and find out. It takes the mornings (from wake-up until noon) of 26 power players and displays them, block by block.
Want to see who works out, who meditates, and who dips into emails before office hours begin? It’s all color-coded with flyover explanations. (It even shows what many of them eat for breakfast.)
Beyond the voyeuristic pleasures (which are myriad), this chart helps us see at a glance the habits successful people have cultivated and worked into their routines. Even if you can’t match the wake-up time of your favorite influencer, you can use their chart to inspire your own morning routine.
2. How much can I really get done before 9 a.m.?
“We do more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day!” Remember the US Army commercial from the 1980’s? If you’re inspired by the concept, Time magazine has an article for you.
In “9 Ways to Make Your Day More Successful Before 9 a.m.” Startup Institute’s Martha Segovia has compiled a great list of tips she follows in the mornings to boost her productivity all day.
For the first hours of her day, she tries to be intentional about what claims her attention. That translates to more time planning out her day — and less time on social media. (She shoots for no social media or email at all, but admits that doesn’t always happen.)
It’s a breezy article with a fresh, young perspective. She’s a commuter on public transit — and an extrovert — and it’s neat to see how she makes the most of her temperament and circumstances to start her day off right.
Hearing how CEOs and millionaires start their day can be fun. But hearing from those who don’t inhabit a corner office can often inspire us in more practical ways. Segovia’s morning plan to maximize her day is a quick read that gives us more options to consider as we optimize our own morning routines.
3. What should I know to start my own morning ritual?
Business coach Travis May isn’t pulling any punches. He thinks the single biggest thing holding us back from increased success is how we spend our mornings.
To back that up, he amasses support from the likes of influential entrepreneurs Tim Ferris, Tony Robbins and James Altucher. In “7 Simple Steps to Changing Your Life Through Your Morning Ritual,” he walks us through his thinking.
First, May itemizes the specific morning routines that fuel their day (Tim Ferris always makes his bed, Tony Robbins alternates jumping in his jacuzzi and a cold plunge pool). May then embarks on helping us build out our own routine, with best practices and expert guidance.
May is full of examples and advice — not just to choose components for our own rituals, but how to make sure the new habits stick. He even has a section that tackles our objections (including the perennial But I can’t get up early! excuse).
Ready to start your own ritual? As May says, “Don’t shoot for perfect. Just start.” This article shows you how.
4. How can I keep my morning routine when I travel?
Travel much? If you’re thinking of starting a morning ritual, you may be wondering how to maintain it once you’re on the road.
It’s a legitimate concern. Staying faithful to a morning routine can be hard enough without throwing travel, hotels and time zones into the mix.
If you struggle with sticking to your plan, cheer up! Stefan Pylarinos from Project Life Mastery has a video that can help. “How To Do A Morning Ritual While Traveling” is full of inspiration, enthusiasm and advice for keeping apace with the routines that are important to you.
First, you’ll have to forgive Pylarinos — he shoots most of the video from a beautiful beach, which is a far cry from the dreary hotel rooms that many of us encounter much more often. But once you tear your attention away from the stunning scenery, there’s good stuff here.
Honoring your priorities — and scheduling enough time for it all — are the key to good habits while on the road where novel challenges and distractions play much more of a role. Pylarinos presents workarounds for these challenges and helps us keep our good habits front and center in the mornings.
Have ritual, will travel? Pylarinos says it’s doable. We just have to get ourselves to the nearest beach to see if what he says works for us.
5. What if I just want to be happier?
Would you rather be happy — or more productive? How about both?
“The 7 Step Morning Ritual That Will Make You Happy All Day” is a delightful article from a lifestyle blog called Barking Up The Wrong Tree. The article is full of wit and wisdom on what makes for a good morning — with plenty of embedded links, if you’re keen on digging deeper into their citations and advice.
The authors plumb some excellent sources on willpower, wealth and happiness — and their 7 steps are a blend of things you’d expect (eat breakfast) and things you might not (do something you dread).
The toughest tip to hear? The importance of managing our mood, which can often be a little touch-and-go before the coffee brews. Our favorite? Tip number 7, of course. It’s the first — and only — time we’ve been advised to kiss someone in a work-related article. We hope it’s the beginning of a new trend.
In fact, just reading this article made us happy — reason enough for you to do the same. And we saved it for later, too, to dig into all those links. We have a feeling happier days are just around the corner.
Our own VP of marketing improved his morning routine — and finally got to enjoy breakfast! — after joining Redbooth. See how he did it >>