You may have heard that many of the world’s most successful people like to start their day at an hour when most people are still in the land of nod. Margaret Thatcher famously survived on just a few hours’ sleep per night, waking up at 5am each and every day. The CEO of Disney, Robert Iger, wakes up at 4.30am. From famous business people to heads of state, it seems the secret to success for many people is to get a head start on the day and spend the morning productively.
If you’ve ever wondered how successful people spend their mornings, you’re about to find out:
If you thought that world leaders and business magnates jumped out of bed at 4.30am to read emails and call their contacts, you’d be wrong. Many of the world’s most successful individuals get up so early so that they can indulge in some me-time. Whether that’s reading, practicing yoga, going for a walk or enjoying an hour of tennis, like Anna Wintour does every morning without fail. For many successful people, this time of the day is the only time they get to themselves, and it allows them to relax and enjoy themselves before the pressures of their work set in.
Exercise releases endorphins, which can set you up perfectly for the day ahead. It also means that you get your workout done and dusted before the working day starts – you never know what crisis will arise during the day, and you don’t want to create a scenario where you’re ditching your cardio to take an urgent conference call. Staying on top of your general health is important if you’re a successful individual with lots of people relying on you.
Creating a map for the day ahead is important – it helps you keep to the schedule and ensures that you don’t miss out anything essential that needs to be completed. Many successful people choose this time to plan their day and set a schedule, rather than ‘winging it’ and hoping they have enough hours to finish all the tasks required of them.
Author Laura Vanderkam’s mantra is ‘If it has to happen, then it has to happen first’. This is basically a stand against procrastination – it encourages people to tackle the top priority jobs before they can become waylaid and sidetracked throughout the day. Many people like to put off the more challenging jobs because they don’t feel like doing them – but powering through and getting them out of the way first clears the way for a more productive day that isn’t underpinned by procrastination.
Keeping up with the news is essential for anyone in a high-powered role – and with 24/7 news coverage and endless updates on Twitter and Facebook, it can be hard to keep track these days. By devoting a little time each morning to learning about current events and keeping up with what’s happening in the world, you can ensure you’re never ‘left behind’ and always remain current and relevant.