Night owls might be creative, but early risers are richer and more productive. Entrepreneurs who want to make it big should ditch the late-night brainstorm sessions and hit the hay early to help their companies grow.
By waking up earlier than most, I have time to exercise, eat breakfast and go over everything I have planned for the entire day. Many founders haven’t even hit snooze — which is another habit you’ll want to ditch. When the alarm goes off, get up. Anyone can be an early riser with a little practice. The simplest way to achieve your prime wake-up timeframe is to roll back your alarm by 15 minutes each night.
You’ll know you have “arrived” at you premium time because you will get all the things done that you want to before work — and you will not feel rushed anymore. The important thing is to stick to your schedule — even on the weekends, so you don’t get off your groove and struggle come Monday morning.
Successful people choose to use their mornings for the following pursuits:
You don’t need to start running if you hate to run, but an early workout is a great start to any day. Use your mornings to do whatever type of exercise that appeals to you. Even a moderate amount of daily exercise increases productivity by an average of 21 percent, according to research from the University of Bristol.
2. Learn something new.
Waking up earlier to work doesn’t sound like much fun. Waking up to learn a new language, practice lock-picking or read up on the History of War in China may feel more “like it” for you. Use your morning time to engage your brain in something novel to get your creative juices flowing before you head to the office.
3. Grow your network.
Cold pitches may feel scary to you — but the more you send them, the easier they become. Take some time every morning to send a friendly message or share an article with someone for whom you have an interest or someone who you’d like to get to know better. Not everyone will respond; that’s fine. Even if only 5 percent of your outreach results in legitimate connections, that’s still 18 new relationships every year.
4. Set timed goals.
Rather than run headfirst into the day without a concrete plan, take 10 minutes in the morning to sketch out any extras that need to be added to your agenda for the day or week. This doesn’t replace your calendar, but it does help you prioritize the tasks ahead. If you consistently find yourself trying to work around a specific meeting, reschedule that meeting or remove it from your calendar altogether.
5. Appreciate the moment.
In the tranquility of the morning, you have plenty of freedom to stop and breathe. Set aside some time to merely think. You could take a moment to think about all the things for which you are grateful before you start pursuing new goals. Practicing gratitude can give you more energy, decrease your stress and make you more optimistic about what’s to come.
6. Prep for your big tasks.
Think about the biggest thing you need to accomplish when you get to work. Your brain is more powerful in the morning, but if you head into the office groggy and unfocused, you won’t be able to use that boost to your advantage. By waking up early and following tips like these, you can arrive at work ready to overcome the biggest obstacle of the day.
7. Spend time with family.
Mornings aren’t just for business. By spending more time with your family in the a.m., you can enjoy a myriad of benefits. You’ll live longer, form stronger bonds with your loved ones and maintain healthier habits. When it’s time to be present, put down the phone — you’ll get to those emails in another hour, anyway — and immerse yourself in the present moment.
These are all small things, but successful people leverage morning routines for big results. As you become more accustomed to productive mornings, you’ll start to look forward to bedtime so you can start the next day refreshed and ready to go. Before long, your good morning habits will help you (and your business) reach new heights.
By John Rampton
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