With the widespread use of email, social media and other instant forms of communication, it’s easy for the day to quickly get away from us. Often, it seems like our typical 9-to-5 workday is constantly interrupted by urgent emails, phone calls and meetings, leaving us little time to work on important, long-term projects.
It makes sense, then, that many of the world’s most successful people have one thing in common — they all wake up early and get as much done as possible before the actual workday begins. The following are some of the most common activities that high-ranking executives and public officials alike engage in during those early-morning hours:
Catch up on email
If you’re like most people, waking up in the morning, looking at your smartphone and seeing an inbox full of emails can give you a sense of panic. This is especially true if you have a Type A personality, whereas you’ll likely feel that you need to respond to every single message as soon as possible. That’s no way to start your day, which is why it’s beneficial to wake up earlier than you normally would to give you plenty of time to respond to messages. This allows you to take your time with your replies and give you a fresh start when you get to the office.
Get some exercise
In our busy lives, it’s easy to let our personal health and well-being become the first thing that falls by the wayside. After all, how is it even possible to make time for going to the gym when you have to worry about 12-hour days and the demands of family life? The fact remains that an astonishing number of the world’s most successful people make sure to exercise regularly, as they know it helps them maintain energy throughout the day and sleep better at night. If the CEO of a Fortune 500 company can find the time to jog for 60 minutes each morning, the rest of us don’t have much of an excuse.
Most business professionals must spend a good portion of their day putting out fires and responding to clients’ or colleagues’ phone calls and emails. This leaves little time to think about the long term, which can negatively impact the future of your business and career. The morning hours are a great time to reflect and think about where you want to be in the next year, five years and 10 years — and set a strategy to get there.
Spend time with loved ones
Morning in the average household can be chaotic, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Successful people have taken to using the morning hours to spend time with their spouses and children, making up for time missed due to long work hours and late meetings. And while we’ve all heard about the benefits of sitting down to a family dinner, the same objectives can be met with a big family breakfast a couple times per week.
If you’re looking for ways to become more productive and make time for the things that truly matter in life, consider these early-morning habits of some of the world’s most successful and effective people. By setting the alarm a little earlier, you may begin to notice some big changes to your personal and professional lives.
Thomas von Ahn | Chief Elephant Slayer | Viral Solutions LLC