We each have our own definitions of success — but in terms of larger-scale success, such as being on Forbes 30 Under 30 list, world leaders, or Kim Kardashian there is a formula. Successful people such as Barrack Obama, Warren Buffet, and Oprah Winfrey create positive habits in their daily lives to maximise their productivity and creativity.
According to Business Insider, Oprah wakes up before sunrise and meditates. Warren Buffet wakes up and reads. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson wakes up at dawn, drinks a coffee, then exercises. While the Queen of England wakes up at 7:30 am, sips English Breakfast tea, and reads the news. Ahhh, royalty. These highly respected and successful people all have their own positive habits to keep them energised all day long. So what do these leaders have in common?
They're early risers...
A financial planner named Tom Corley surveyed 233 wealthy individuals to learn their daily habits. In his research, he found that nearly 50 per cent of self-made millionaires got out of bed at least three hours before their workday actually started.
“Getting up at five in the morning to tackle the top three things you want to accomplish in your day allows you to regain control of your life,” Corley writes. “It gives you a sense of confidence that you, indeed, direct your life.”
Waking up early enhances your chances of success. Biologist Christopher Handler surveyed students on their morning routines. According to him, “morning people anticipate problems and try to minimise them — they’re proactive. A number of studies have linked this trait, proactivity, with better job performance, greater career success, and higher wages.”
The benefits of waking up early also include procrastinating less, being more agreeable, and an improvement in mood.
Morning routines are essential for successful people.
No time is wasted when you wake up early. Once leaders hop out of bed, they’re doing something that immediately gets their day going. Productive morning routines include waking up early to exercise, meditate, read, journal, create a to-do list, and eat a healthy breakfast. Adding music or your favourite podcast also helps set a positive tone for the day.
While usually a night owl, Cheryl Bachelder – CEO of the American fast-food chain Popeyes – wakes up early and listens to music during her morning activities, which includes reading and blogging. While an expert on habit, Nir Eyal, told Business Insider that he wakes up at 6:30 am, turns on NPR and listens to the news while making coffee and cooking a protein-rich breakfast.
On the other hand, Jennifer Anniston told Well + Good that she wakes up at 4:30 am (when she’s working) and starts her day by drinking hot water with lemon, splashing her face with cold water, doing 30-minutes of meditation, eating a healthy breakfast, and exercising.
Billionaire Richard Branson said that no matter where he is in the world, he tries to routinely wake up at around 5 am. By rising early, he’s able to exercise and spend time with his family, which puts him in a great frame of mind before getting down to business. Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 am every morning and sifts through his emails for an hour before heading to the gym, grabbing Starbucks, and getting to work, reports Time. These successful people wake up early and participate in their own morning routine which helps them kickstart the day and continue being leaders.
Find it difficult to have an early morning? Here’s how to start changing your habits
It’s important to develop a pattern when establishing a morning routine. Basically, a good morning routine starts at night. Corely’s research also found that 89 per cent of self-made millionaires sleep seven or eight hours each night. While that is the recommended amount, make it a priority. Businesswoman and author, Arianna Huffington, told My Morning Routine that her morning starts at night – she treats her transition to sleep as a sacrosanct ritual.
Create a sleep schedule. Make it a goal to be in bed by 10 pm and put your phone on Do Not Disturb. No more phone calls, social media, or emails. Talk to your partner or read a book — but whatever you do — let your body relax and end the day.
To progressively become a morning person, try setting your alarm clock for 15 minutes earlier than you usually do. The next morning, set the alarm five minutes earlier than the night before. Keep doing this each night until you find a time where you wake up early enough to have a productive morning. You'll be pleasantly surprised by what an extra hour in the morning will do for your day.
How to have a good nights sleep
Having trouble falling asleep? Try incorporating these foods during dinner and *gulp* skip dessert.
Just remember what Benjamin Franklin said: “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”