5 ingredients for the entrepreneur's ultimate morning routine.
Mornings are powerful. Done right, they can be the medicine to stress, the fuel to productivity and the path to clarity. Done wrong (once you’ve hit the snooze button), they can leave you scrambling for the door whilst still brushing your teeth. It’s not surprising then that the world’s best performers have a morning routine in place, and one that they keep to.
From Barak Obama starting his day with tea and not coffee to Tim Ferris’ simple act of making his bed, we’ve taken a few ideas from some of the most successful people to create the ultimate morning routine guaranteed to enhance your early hours.
1. Make your bed
It may seem easy, and it is, but it can be the first positive thing you do when you wake up. Making your bed is something that every single person can accomplish every morning without fail, regardless of the day you had yesterday or the day ahead. It’s that sense of accomplishment that starts the day right, and it can lead to you making many more achievements throughout the day. Positivity is contagious.
Ray Dalio, Bill Ford, Arianna Huffington, Jack Dorsey, Jeff Weiner, Oprah Winfrey and more swear by daily meditation. Countless studies have shown the benefits of meditation; reduced stress, improved memory and creativity, increased clarity, a sense of perspective and wellbeing, greater emotional control and higher relationship satisfaction (at work and at home). Creating moments of quiet in our noisy lives is one of the most valuable practices you can do.
When you’re sweating from an early morning run or workout, your body is also releasing dopamine and serotonin, chemicals responsible for feelings of wellbeing and pleasure. And that positive mindset you’re left with after exercise contributes to the tone of your day going forward. Whilst some may think that exercising before work will leave them drained of energy, experts say otherwise. Exercise actually increases oxygen and nutrient flow, boosting your energy levels for your day ahead.
Whether it’s Niel Pasricha’s morning routine of writing down something he’s grateful for, something he will let go of and something he will focus on, or Tim Ferris’ less structured, but just as consistent, morning journal sessions, journaling is a tool everyone can and should use. Writing is a personal act, and it’s not necessarily used to make you more productive. What it will do is give you clarity. It allows you to exhale some of those thoughts whirling around your head and see the day with renewed vision. And it’s been shown to increase happiness and contentment, and isn’t that what life is really about?
5. Drink tea
Some say Barak Obama used the red button on his Oval Office desk to order tea. Whilst he probably used it for other things as well, it’s a known fact that Obama was a lover of green tea, water or orange juice (and not coffee) to start his day. Coffee in moderation isn’t strictly bad, but when you combine a caffeine heavy drink with cortisol, the stress hormone which is at its highest levels in the morning, you’re setting yourself up for a double dose of crash and burn. Tea, however, increases focus and your sense of calm, decreases cortisol, is packed full of antioxidants, is better at hydrating you and increases cognitive function long term. Obama was right.