High achievers, whether those who are incredibly productive, constantly creative or profoundly inspirational, are not high achievers by accident; instead, they have ways of maintaining their focus, rituals and routines that help them to make a difference daily. This starts with how they begin their day. Read on to discover some of the most effective morning routines that could help you to cram a little more success into your day.
Steve Jobs has inspired many thousands of aspirational people. In 2005, he gave a speech at Stanford University during which he shared what he did each morning to get himself motivated. He would look in the mirror and ask himself a question: if the day was the last he would spend on earth, would he still want to accomplish what he was getting ready to do?
If the answer to this question was negative for more than a few consecutive days, he knew changes needed to be made.
Anna Wintour, the editor of American Vogue and global style setter, starts her day with tennis. Every morning, at 5.45am, she plays tennis for an hour. This keeps her fit, sharpens her faculties, and puts her in the right zone for running an empire.
Benjamin Franklin, an important figure in the early history of the United States, also started his day early. He would plan his activities at 5am and contemplate what positive things he intended to achieve before nightfall.
Margaret Thatcher, the former British prime minister, would rise at 5am and listen to BBC Radio. She would get up to speed on what was happening in agriculture by listening to Farming Today.
PG Wodehouse, author of the humorous Jeeves and Bertie Wooster novels, would start his day at 7.30am; head outside for calisthenics; consume breakfast of tea, toast and coffee cake; and read an entertaining book.
Another approach is thinking about what needs to be done. If there is a big job that needs doing, complete it first. The sense of relief and power from getting this out of the way will make what follows seem almost fun by comparison.
The writer Mark Twain has a famous saying about eating a frog that was still alive and nothing worse than that could take place that day. The idea is to confront the beast – whether an amphibian or some complicated paperwork – conquer it, and then you will feel capable of anything.
Identify your beast, write it down, and put this note where you can’t help but see it when you arrive at your work space the next morning. In the morning, look at the task you have listed, complete it, and at the end of the day make a note of another beast to be tackled and completed the next morning. Following this technique should boost your productivity.
What about science? A study into self-control concluded that willpower fades as the day goes on and is at its most powerful first thing; therefore, do something important as early as possible while your willpower is fresh.
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