February 01, 2020

How to Embrace The Morning Routine As An Entrepreneur

If you feel like you can't catch up on your to-do list, struggle with productivity, or want to grow your business, an established morning routine will be beneficial. In this post, we'll provide tips on how you can craft the perfect morning routine that works for you.

The Popularity Of The Morning Routine

It should be no surprise that morning routines can be a catalyst for incredibly productive days. This is even more true for entrepreneurs and individuals in leadership roles. The development of a well-structured morning routine leads to success over the course of a day. Think about the idea of completing half a day’s worth of tasks before walking out the door in the morning. Developing a healthy morning routine isn’t focused on competing with others to complete tasks. Instead, allow yourself to start their day with peace, confidence, and positive self-feedback. Knowing how to start the day provides the opportunity to successfully complete tasks. This can be done without the associated fatigue that comes during the later hours of the day. It also serves to diminish the stress involved with clock-watching as the day ticks by.

Starting Your Day Right Is Crucial

Per research from both Stanford and Harvard, stress in the workplace is equally health-deterring as secondhand smoke. This is alarming, as it has been reported that over 80 percent of employed adults experience this type of stress. As stress increases, it affects the immune system and physical health. However, this stress also plays a role in emotional health and well-being. Optimism regarding emotional health is impacted by how we manage our days and routines. In addition to affecting both physical and emotional health, a structured morning ritual can positively affect many other facets of life. The burdens of a long to-do list weigh heavily on friendships and relationships. Also, a morning routine assists in setting the tone for the rest of the day. It better allows you to control your schedule, instead of your schedule controlling you. It also allows stronger time management and leads to increased productivity.

The Best Tips To Develop A Solid Morning Routine

Business owners experience more stress and anxiety than most. Cultivating an effective and structured daily routine is crucial to ensure you get the most of your day. While the amount of time that each person has differs, many staples can be found with most highly successful business owners. From setting an earlier wake-up time to meditation, task development, and biohacking alarm clocks, the options are endless. Below are some of the best tips we've curated to ensure you develop a highly efficient morning routine. Remember, a well-structured morning is a key to an extremely productive full day. If you’re looking for more tips and tricks to improve effectiveness in your business, check out our newsletter! [cta-newsletter]

1. Wake Up Earlier

While it's true that not all successful entrepreneurs wake up early, there's a definite correlation that most do. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, wakes up at 4:00 AM and exercises. Jack Dorsey, CEO and founder of both Twitter and Square, wakes at 5:00 AM to meditate. Richard Branson, Virgin Group founder, wakes at 5:00 AM wherever he is in the world. The goal is to get you into the right frame of mind, allowing you to get a head start on the competition. While this may not be exactly what you’re doing, tricking your brain into waking earlier is a stellar life hack. Research has suggested that the most successful people wake well before their workday begins. By mirroring this, you can “create” time for things like exercise, meditation, house cleaning, side projects, and more. The benefits of waking earlier (and avoiding the snooze button) are extensive.

2. Create Your To-Do List The Day Before

Typically, you won't be able to determine tomorrow's tasks before the end of today. Things miss the coveted checkbox on your to-do list and are pushed to tomorrow. Unexpected meetings and emails pop up that eat away at productive time. As such, it’s essential to make your list of hopeful accomplishments the night before. Before going to bed, try to note at least three things that should be done the next morning. For a stronger chance of getting these three things done, focus on only those tasks before doing anything else on your to-do list. It doesn’t matter if the tasks are as simple as putting away laundry, or as complex as creating a budget. Getting those three things done should be pivotal to continuing your morning routine. But which task should you focus on first? Keep reading to find out!

3. Complete The Hardest Task First

The concept of “eating the frog” comes from a quote by author Mark Twain. In this quote, he suggests eating a frog in the morning because nothing worse can happen for the rest of the day. He has a point, we guess! This quote alludes to completing the most challenging task of your day first. Typically, first thing in the morning, you're free from the persistent requests, notifications, and demands. This provides an opportunity to prioritize the “frog” and put all of your focus on accomplishing one task. By tackling the most challenging task first, it ensures you have the mental energy for smaller tasks throughout the day.

4. Drink Water In The Morning

As soon as you wake up, grab a glass of water and start hydrating! Remember, regardless of how little you may have slept, that whole time was spent in a slow state of dehydration. Whether you feel like you need water or not, trust us, you do. Water helps to kickstart your energy levels. It perks you up, and gets the organs and muscles moving properly. Remember, close to 60 percent of your body is comprised of water and it's considered an essential nutrient. This means your body can’t produce enough through metabolism to meet daily needs. One helpful early morning life hack is placing a frozen 16 oz bottle of water on a nightstand table. Upon waking, in most cases, the ice will have melted. This results in nice, cold water to jolt you awake.

5. Automate Your Light

The benefits of waking up to light versus sound are extensive. Think about getting some wifi powered light bulbs, or a sunrise simulation light in place of an alarm clock. Per circadian rhythms, people are genetically wired to wake as the sun rises. Wake up light alarms have been designed to simulate this effect. Many start with very dim lights. These lights slowly build up over a half-hour, leading to the brightness levels of a full day. If you experience trouble waking as-is, wifi-powered lighting may be a reliable sidecar to an existing alarm clock. Picture utilizing Philips Hue light bulbs in tandem with an alarm set on an Amazon Alexa device. If you need to wake up at 5:00 AM to start you morning routine, you can automate the following:
  • At 5:00 AM, start alarm.
  • Ten seconds later, slowly increase brightness in the room from 0 percent to 100 percent.
  • While the light brightens, read for a few minutes. Then, get ready to begin the rest of your morning rituals.

6. Get Some Exercise First Thing

Most successful entrepreneurs are in consensus: exercise must be prioritized in the morning. Exercise provides a natural energy boost, as well as motivation, mental clarity, and physical stamina. One example of this is Richard Branson, a dedicated cyclist and runner. Branson credits his fitness routine in the mornings for his extremely productive lifestyle. “I can achieve twice as much simply by keeping fit," Branson says. "Exercise keeps the brain functioning properly.” There's ample science that suggests a correlation between mental acuity, memory, and morning exercise. Per Harvard Medical School, exercise leads to brain secretions of neurotrophic factors. This chemical has been proven to boost brain function.

7. Consider What You Eat (And When)

Lifestyle experts Oprah and Tony Robbins both advocate consuming high-protein, healthy breakfasts early. This serves to increase productivity and focus throughout the day. It also provides the fuel needed for your mind to start working efficiently upon waking. Biohacking pioneer Tim Ferriss advocates for at least 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking. This is a significant facet of the wildly successful Slow-Carb Diet from his book The Four-Hour Body. It's almost unanimous that the first daily meal is a mix of lean proteins and high-fiber carbohydrates. Good-quality carbs assist in regulating blood sugar, and lean protein helps to stave off hunger throughout the day. However, this idea isn’t gospel. The massive popularity of intermittent fasting typically involves the omission of breakfast. Intermittent fasting has extensive benefits for both mind and body. What works best is up to what your body says to you.

8. The Importance Of Meditation

Many of the most successful and productive individuals practice meditation in the morning. These people aren’t alone. Studies have shown meditation works wonders in reducing stress and anxiety levels. The practice of meditation provides a routine single-task workout of sorts. It assists in helping you to remain focused on mindfulness. This is compared to the mental push-pull in all directions standard in business. Meditation also serves to improve productivity, helping maintain awareness of the present state. If you're interested in meditating but aren’t sure how to get started, download Calm or Headspace. These ten-minute guided meditation sessions are an excellent way to dip into meditation.

Overhaul Your Mornings!

Whether your morning routine needs a small push or a significant overhaul, the benefits can't be understated. Do you seem to face a consistent backlog of tasks in your to-do list? If so, a morning routine can assist greatly in alleviating the associated stress. One of the most robust methods to take your business to the next level is clarity in leadership. A well-structured, healthy morning routine is one of the best ways to get to this clarity.