The early birds will inherit the earth.
But being an effective early riser isn’t just about waking up before everyone else. It’s about putting yourself in a positive mindset and getting important things done before everyone else.
So there’s no point in setting your alarm clock at a crazy-early time if you’re just going to zone out in front of the television for a bit before slouching off to work.
To start your day right, you’ve got to get into some good habits.
Following are eight morning rituals that may seem hard to adopt but will ultimately help you reap major rewards, if you stick with them.
Wake up painfully early
Sorry, night owls. It’s time to adapt.
In a poll of 20 executives cited by Laura Vanderkam, a time-management expert and the author of “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 and is in the office no later than 7. Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to go jogging.
Yes, this might sound awful, but if you get to sleep earlier, that’ll numb the pain of such early wake-ups over time. The bottom line: Productive mornings start with early wake-up calls.
Start the day right with exercise
Yeah, there are superhumans among us who crave that pre-sunrise workout (that, or they’re just really good liars). Still, for everyone else, waking up at the crack of dawn to sweat and get sore probably doesn’t sound ideal.
But the morning is probably the ideal time to exercise. By starting your day with exercise, you’ll prevent yourself from putting it off.
Think about it this way: If some of the busiest people in the world can find time to workout, so can you. For example, Vanderkam notes that Xerox CEO Ursula Burns schedules an hourlong personal-training session at 6 a.m. twice a week.
US President Barack Obama starts out each day with strength and cardio training while Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey does three repetitions of a seven-minute workout, Anisa Purbasari reported for Business Insider.
“These are incredibly busy people,” says Vanderkam. “If they make time to exercise, it must be important.”
Eat a decent breakfast
Skip the cereal and whip yourself up a breakfast with protein. As Entrepreneur reported, it’s better to kick off the day with some eggs than digging into carbs. Everyone’s busy. It might seem difficult to find the time to cook a whole meal in the morning, but it’ll energize you and help keep your appetite in check.