5 Habits of Successful People Before 8 a.m.
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I found this article and while it has some useful information, I do believe that effective habits are not “one size fits all”. As an Online Business Manager and Virtual Assistant, I practice these basic habits but with a little different approach. I hope you find value in these tips and tweak them for your own success.
The difference between successful people and everyone else is the way they utilize time. With only so many hours in a day, you need to maximize those hours. The best of the best are up early and getting to work before their peers have rolled out of bed. So, what are the top five habits of successful people before 8 am?
1. Use a real alarm clock.
You might look at this tip and wonder what difference it really makes. A real alarm clock forces you to get out of bed. For example, if you use your phone as an alarm clock all you have to do is reach over and press the screen. Unsurprisingly, most people take five more minutes.
But if the alarm clock is on the other side of the room, you’re forced to get out of bed. Furthermore, using a real alarm clock discourages you from checking social media and wasting precious time.
I don’t know about you but I haven’t owned a ‘real alarm clock’ in ages. I do use my iPhone as an alarm, not only for waking up, but as extra insurance to really important meetings, calls, or actions I need to take. I set my alarm 15 minutes before I dedicate my foot to hit the floor. Yes, I do snooze but I am not falling back to sleep. I use a tone that is loud enough to wake me but not a shrill or obnoxious noise (like nails on a chalkboard).
2. Take some time to breathe.
Successful people don’t leap out of bed and head for the computer. They understand the importance of reducing stress and relaxing. More often than not, they’re the people enjoying a cup of coffee or reading a book before they get started with the day’s work.
Rituals like this will enable you to clear your head and get yourself in the right state of mind for the day ahead.
I sort of giggled at this one… With only one leg, I don’t “leap” anywhere. I have by default slowed my roll so to speak. The routine of putting my prosthetic on allows me a couple of minutes to be thankful each morning, giving me motivation to make this day a great day. Then I usually head straight for the coffee pot.
3. Set out your clothes the night before.
Setting out your clothes for the next day is a sign of an organized mind. It means the next day is going to be all about what you’re going to do, rather than focusing on trivial matters. This will save you time the next day and enable you to maximize every single minute.
Being a Virtual Assistant I can work from anywhere and still be in my jammies. But when I was in the corporate world of proper dress, traffic jams, and shared offices; I did select my clothes the evening before. Now I will grant you that if I have a video conference, I do get cleaned up and dressed. Your appearance says a lot about you, so be comfortable and dress according to who your profession.
4. Get in a workout.
Fitness is important for your health. Successful people prioritize a workout for another reason though. Exercise is scientifically proven to get those endorphins racing. Endorphins are the happy drugs that your brain produces in certain circumstances, and one of them is exercise.
It doesn’t have to be a sweaty, exhausting workout. It could involve some gentle minutes on an exercise bike, a short jog or a yoga session. Find something that works for you.
I have a habit of doing 3 small workouts during the day and even sometimes a few stretches when I need a break from sitting in my desk chair. When I was in the corporate world I even learned a few stretches that can be done standing at a copy machine, standing in your office, and even sitting in my desk chair.
5. Read something you enjoy.
We mentioned earlier how successful people tend to read when they get up early. They don’t watch TV or catch up on work emails. Reading gets the brain working, and it improves comprehension. But reading something negative or something boring, such as that email from your boss, sets a tone for the day.
Consider starting off the day with a self-improvement book or something that you can learn from. For example, if you’re interested in financial news start with that.
I read for a living so it’s sometimes hard to really get involved in a good book or magazine. I do however like to spend about an hour each day reading online news and articles that relate to motorcycling, entrepreneurship and educational materials for marketing. I close out most of my days reading my Highway for Hope Bible but you can read whatever you like, of course. Perhaps consider closing your day with a self improvement book, an industry magazine, or something that makes you smile.
Together these rituals are going to keep you healthy and productive, setting a positive tone for the day ahead. Don’t try to implement these changes all at once. Some minor changes implemented gradually will help you to adjust to your new morning routine.