Getting your day off to a bright start can snowball into a more productive day, week and life. If you haven’t thought about your morning routine beyond which place does the best coffee near to your office, you may be missing a trick.
There are plenty of guides online about the basics of a morning routine – drinking a glass of water, having a healthy breakfast – but if you’re striving to be the best, you need to start positively from the moment you wake up. In 2014, Admiral William McRaven went viral online with one simple piece of advice that he delivered to students in an inauguration speech: start your day by making your bed.
If you want inspiration for how to get started in the morning, who better to turn to than world leaders and successful business people? Below are some tips from Barack Obama, Seth Godin, Holly Ransom and Steve Jobs on how they got the most out of their days.
to Barack Obama’s personal aide, Reggie Love, the former US president
starts his mornings with good habits and a strong routine. Every day
begins with a workout, alternating between strength and cardio.
According to the ABC, if you want to pick up a healthy routine, the best
time to do that is in the morning.
Obama follows his workout by reading the papers – giving his mind some exercise – and avoids coffee, instead drinking water, orange juice or green tea.
This simple routine set up the man in the world who, for eight years, had the most power and the toughest decisions to make.
Godin is a business and marketing guru, as well as a hugely successful
author. His first business, Yoyodyne, was sold to Yahoo! for $30m in
1998 and he has since written 18 books, including the Forbes Business
Book of the Year in 2004, various New York Times bestsellers and some of
the most revered business books available.
Godin starts his day completely differently to Obama. He spends an hour doing admin work, writing blog posts and clearing out his inbox so that it’s at zero for the start of the working day. Knowing that he has no emails left to respond to gives him a clearer mind and less anxiety in his life. He then makes a healthful smoothie (a banana, hemp powder, almond milk, a dried plum and some walnuts).
With a clear mind and his body fuelled properly, he begins the working day ready to tackle productive work.
Holly Ransom has been named one of Australia’s most influential women by Westpac and Australian Financial Review . She was a finalist for Western Australia Young Australian of the Year, she’s chaired the G20 Youth Summit and, in 2018, Barack Obama requested Ransom to moderate his only speaking appearance in Australia that year.
Ransom is a big believer in the power of habit. Having studied the behaviours of other successful people, she begins her day at 4.30am. Getting up so early allows Ransom to start working before distractions and obligations make themselves known. To prove herself, she posts a picture of her watch to Twitter when she gets up every day, under the hashtag #morningchallenge.
Other than post, Ransom bans social media, email and news for the first hour of her day, allowing her to focus on what’s most important to her – tasks such as learning a new language, journalling, reading and working out.
One of the biggest success
stories of recent years, Steve Jobs and Apple’s meteoric rise has been
truly inspirational. Jobs’ routine was to get up at 6am, as he found
that he was most productive around 6.15am. To accommodate this, he would
get straight to work in the morning at home before commuting to the
office later in the morning.
In a speech to students at Stanford University, Jobs told them that his morning routine had one vital part that he had done for more than three decades: “I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
If you’re not doing what you love, or at least not incorporating something you enjoy into your daily life, is there a way you could change that?
Oprah Winfrey, nature is a huge part of her morning routine. She begins
her day by connecting to nature, first by gazing over her garden with
its adjacent forests and then by taking her dogs for a walk. Back in her
home, she fixes herself a cup of coffee and reads daily affirmations.
When she’s finished with her coffee, she turns to meditation – inside in the cooler months but out in the forest when the weather’s warmer, again finding a connection with nature.
The next step in her routine is to exercise. First, she does low-impact strength training before heading outside for a run.
Learn from other successful business leaders
Finding a morning routine that works for you can involve a lot of trial and error. To find out how other successful entrepreneurs in Australia have increased their productivity, join Million Dollar Business Club and connect with like-minded business leaders. Start your application today.