Waking up early is a nightmare for most people, especially if you had a lazy weekend and must be up at 6.00 a.m. on Monday. And even though some waste a good morning doing nothing, highly successful people generally start their day at the crack of dawn.
After analyzing the CEOs’ daily schedules, it is hard not to notice their morning patterns and it is even harder not to follow their agenda, at least when it comes to what time you set your alarm clock.
According to studies pointed out by Chatelaine, people who wake up early are more optimistic, they have a flourishing career, better performance and higher paychecks. At the same time, Forbes emphasizes biologist Christoph Randler’s findings, according to which early risers can even anticipate problems and be more proactive and some other studies put the “equal” sign between career success, job performance and high wages.
Forbes has found out that staying up at night and sleeping late in the morning is a pattern linked to a high level of intelligence and creativity, however, the downside comes in the form of depression, pessimism and neurotic behavior. Therefore, if you don’t want to suffer from depression and be mediocre, professionally speaking, the only thing left to do is to wake up early in the morning and start your day with whatever you consider important for you mind or soul.
One advocate of the waking up early pattern is Laura Vanderkam, a successful writer and journalist who not only wrote the book “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”, but also taught us how to do our own time makeover. According to her, managing your time better means knowing how you are spending it, possibly making different choices, dreaming big and making a timeline of your goals.
Moreover, Laura Vanderkam is responsible for helping you rethink your lazy morning routines, regardless of whether it is a Monday or Saturday and “jump-start your life before the day has even begun”.
Use commuting to your advantage
Ask Men found out that AOL CEO Tim Armstrong considers commuting to be a great time to answer e-mails. According to him, “if you don’t have to drive, it’s a great opportunity for catching up on those e-mails. If you do, it’s still a quiet time that can be spent planning your week or staying informed through the radio”, reports Ask Men.
Moreover, in an interview with The Guardian, Tim Armstrong unveils the fact that he wakes up at 5:15 a.m. and starts sending e-mails. “My desk starts the minute I leave my house. I have a driver and my commute is a little over an hour. I am very productive in the car”, adds the CEO of AOL for the newspaper, thus confirming Laura Vanderkam’s opinion about the equation of success.
Deal with e-mails
As mentioned on Ask Men, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook puts an emphasis on e-mails. Dealing with e-mails should be the number one priority when starting your morning, especially if it’s Monday and plenty of e-mails have piled up during the weekend. Following Tim Cook’s morning routine will not only help you answer the most important e-mail, but it will also allow you to focus on your work and be more productive for the rest of the day.
Mind the e-mails
While Tim Cook is pro reading e-mails in the morning, David Karp, the 25 years old CEO of Tumblr has a different opinion. Karp admitted to Inc. Magazine that “reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive. If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me”.
However, by not reading and answering to your e-mails, you will have more time to tackle other priorities by simply using your time to solve another pressing problem.
Get up early
Both Ask Men and The Guardian write about Vittorio Colao, the CEO of Vodafone who is yet another early bird who wakes up at 6 a.m., takes 40 minutes to exercise and then starts his day in full force with continuous e-mails and meetings.
Regardless of what time you have to be at work or how long the commute lasts, it is always good to wake up early and use that time for personal or professional purposes, like sitting down and having a real breakfast, working out or meditating.
US President, Barack Obama believes in early morning workouts. The benefit of waking up and exercising is a clear head and if we take into account the endorphin release, the day can immediately become more cheerful. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that if you choose to work out on a Monday morning, you will set the tone for a great week.
Be appreciative of what you have
Tony Robbins knows how to cheer you up and he can even teach you how to do it yourself. The only thing you need to do is remind yourself to be happy not only for who you are, but also for what you’ve accomplished, Ask Men reports.
This life coach teaches us a lesson that being happy with yourself and with what you have will have an impact on your spirit and taking a moment each morning to think of how lucky you are can only help you.
Start with the hardest task
Mark Twain is known for his saying “eat the frog”, which means start the day with the hardest task. Inspired from Laura Vanderkam’s lessons, Ask Men teaches us to make a to-do list when we wake up and offer priority to your toughest task.
Use weekends efficiently
The CEO of Thred.com, James Reinhard teaches us to take advantage of the weekends and use them to re-charge your battery or catch up with work. Ask Men agrees with Reinhard’s weekend program, which consists of leisure time and mentions that resetting yourself is one clear advantage that weekends have to offer.
Therefore, even if you choose to work on a Saturday or Sunday or simply indulge in personal activities, it is important to know that no morning should be wasted lying around, not even during the weekend.
Plan your week
Probably the most important lesson we can learn from Laura Vanderkam’s program is to plan your week. According to her, every Monday you should take some time and ponder on the week’s priorities. Her Monday mornings are full of lists, which arrange top priorities, so why shouldn’t yours be the same?
Clean your desk
There is nothing as good as working on a clean desk and author Alexandra Levit knows it well. Ask Men agrees with her morning routine, especially on Mondays and states that an ambitious, successful person will have a messy desk by the end of the week.
Therefore, it is necessary to start your mornings and your week with a clean desk; so that you can measure the work you’ve done by the piles of paper that occupy your workspace.