Mornings—you either love them or hate them. For morning people, the hours right before and after the rising of the sun are the most productive of the day. For the rest of humanity, mornings usually start with a fight against the all-too-familiar urge to stay in bed.
Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs and personalities start their day early; Richard Branson, Tim Cook, Howard Schultz, and Dwayne Johnson, just to name a few, are all up and about before 6 in the morning. But there are also many productive folks who start their day much later, like Mark Zuckerberg and Jay-Z, who both wake up at 8am. At the same time, many people point out that how efficiently you spend your time matters far more than what time you wake up or how many hours you spend working.
It can’t be denied, however, that how you spend your morning has a great effect on how the rest of your day will turn out. This is why many people, from business leaders to authors, have an established morning routine. Many agree that having a positive experience in the morning is a good start to having a successful day. A morning ritual, which is done just before you deal with all the stresses life has to bring, can help you have the right mindset and give you a better sense of control over your time. Some of the most common morning habits that can help you realign your thoughts include:
- Waking up earlier. You know you’re going to have a difficult day if you start it by waking up later than you’re supposed to. Wake up late and you’d have to hurry through or completely skip your morning rituals, leaving you in a state of disarray as you go about your daily tasks. Getting up earlier, either by just a few minutes or by an entire hour, gives you enough time to adjust yourself to meet the demands of your surroundings. Sure, getting yourself out of bed early will cost a bit of effort on your part, but think of it as investing a few minutes on yourself and making sure that you’re ready to face the world.
- You may not think that transcendental meditation is your thing, but remember that there are different ways of meditating. For some people, it involves maintaining a certain pose and chanting; for others, it may mean lighting a candle and concentrating on their goals for a few minutes. Regardless of how you choose to meditate, you can still benefit from the activity. Studies show that meditating for a few minutes can improve concentration, reduce stress and anxiety, and stimulate creativity, among many other good effects. It’s a good idea to calm your thoughts and refresh your mind before you tackle the affairs of the day.
- Reviewing your goals. Take a good look at your goals before you head out and, if possible, reschedule your biggest task in the morning. Tackling big jobs first may seem overwhelming, but it’s much better than delaying the entire thing and dreading it for the rest of the day. Besides, people often have the highest level of energy in the morning. Once you’re done with the first task, you’ll feel more determined to complete the smaller, more trivial ones.
- Exercising in the morning has plenty of benefits. It reduces stress, boosts confidence and the production of happy hormones, improves creativity and brainpower, and helps you stay fit, among many other positive effects. In addition, it also serves as a keystone habit that can help you develop other good habits. A few minutes of physical activity in the morning can go a long way in improving your day and the way you live.
Rising with the sun may be a struggle for many people, but starting your day with one or more of these tried and tested morning rituals may make it easier. These habits won’t make you a morning person if you’re not one, but they can help you gain control of your day and become more mindful of how you use and manage your time.