9 things you should do in the morning

What is it that successful people do that distinguishes them from the crowd? The differences start early in the morning, as it turns out. Here are some of the things that successful people do every morning:

Get up early.

Ugh – who wants to get up earlier than absolutely necessary? Whether or not they want to, many successful people do get up early to get a head start on the day. If you feel like you’ve already been productive by the time you get to work, you’ll feel like you’ve started the day off on the right foot and you’ll be more likely to let that productivity carry over into work. One poll found that 90 percent of executives said that they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays – so if you start getting up early you’ll find that you’re in good company.

Exercise.

Exercising actually helps amp up your energy, so starting off the day with an exercise routine can help you be more energetic throughout the day. Exercise is also something that is shown to generally help your mood, so for that reason it is great to do any time of day. When you are already into the routine of a busy day, though, it can be hard to stop and make time to exercise – so getting it done early in the morning may be the best way to make sure that you actually have time to do it.

Planning your day.

Task lists are a critical part of productivity and planning, so creating or reviewing your task list first thing in the morning is a great way to make sure that you maximize productivity throughout the day by starting off with a concrete plan. Of course, the day will probably throw some curve balls into your schedule, but having a goal and sticking to it as much as possible will help you be much more productive than if you begin the day with just a vague idea of what you plan to do.

Eat breakfast.

Study after study have shown the value of eating breakfast. Kickstarting your metabolism early in the day is good for weight loss, but eating breakfast also helps you focus better throughout the morning. Whether it’s a simple bowl or cereal or an omelet, breakfast is a great way to start your day off on the right foot.

Respond to email.

First thing in the morning is a great time to respond to all those non-urgent emails that are piling up. It can be easy to ignore emails that don’t have high priority content, but if you let them pile up it can be hard to motivate yourself to sort through them all. Like with exercising, responding to non-priority emails is something that it gets harder to make time for as the day goes on. Instead, just set aside some time first thing in the morning to respond to all your unanswered emails and maybe you can even start the day with an empty inbox!

Work on personal projects.

Maybe you’re trying to write the Great American Novel or maybe you have an art passion that you’re trying to make time to pursue. Whatever it is, your personal passion project is a great thing to start the day with. It’s one of those things that it can be hard to take the time and concentration to work on once the day gets hectic. First thing in the morning, though, before distractions start to pile up, is the perfect time to concentrate on doing the things you really want to do.

Spend time with family.

Sometimes crazy work and school schedules can make it difficult to spend the time you want to spend with your family. If you get up early, though, you can make breakfast your family meal. You’ll be killing two birds with one stone – getting a good breakfast in and having some quality family time.

Meditate.

Once the day gets going, it’s hard to find time to stop and slow down. Meditating in the morning gives you the opportunity to start the day with a clear mind. It doesn’t have to be a long meditation session; some people find that 5, 10, or 20 minutes is more than enough. It’s a great way to get yourself centered and mentally prepared for the day ahead.

Read the news.

Nobody likes to be the person who’s out of the loop, but catching up on national and world news is a great thing for the early morning hours. This is an early morning activity that you can actually combine with other activities on this list – like eating breakfast or working out. It’s a great way to make sure that you start the day feeling productive and informed.