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10 Morning Habits of Successful People That You Should Learn

10 Morning Habits of Successful People That You Should Learn

Do you want to develop a morning routine that starts you on the road to success?Be thoughtful about the habits you are starting to develop and the results will be amazing. Here are some habits of successful people to which you can ascribe part of their success. There is however no magic routine. These are all great tips, but it is up to you to decide which fit your life.

1. They get important things done early

Sunrise Of A Mountain With Lake And Mist-min

    Do you know that feeling of mental fatigue at the end of the day?

    Humans have limited willpower. It runs out as the day progresses. This is called “ego depletion”, or decision fatigue. Decision fatigue particularly describes how every time you have to exercise willpower to make a decision you lose some willpower juice. Get your most important things done first in the morning while you still have full focus and mental power.

    Mark Twain is often quoted saying “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day”. Start with the frogs, and take easier decisions and do easier things as the day progresses. Speaking of food in the morning, it’s actually good for you to not eat in the morning (link).

    What you can do: plan your most important and difficult tasks in the morning. There are several tasks that can help you determine the most important tasks but we recommend the GTD Method.

    2. They set serious priorities

    Priorities are what focus you during the day. Steve Jobs reportedly started the day by looking in the mirrors and asking himself a question: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” (This is especially apropos for someone that died from a disease at a young age).

    Whether you want to go as extreme as he did or not, start your day by determining what really matters.

    What you can do: take time in your mornings to determine to-do items things matter to you.

    If you have trouble deciding, I recommend the Eisenhower matrix.

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    Tools: Eisenhower matrix

    3. They start with their end goal in mind

    Vinatge Porsche Car Driving Through Tunnel-min

      It is fascinating how many people have no goals and then are surprised they aren’t getting anywhere. If you define where you want to be at the end of the day you can decide what things matter most in order to reach your goal. The best short-term goals have a long-term goal associated with them.

      Ron Friedman describes the start of his day: “Ask yourself this question the moment you sit at your desk: The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved?”

      What you can do: start your day by asking yourself what would need to happen for you to be satisfied by the end of the day.

      The tool I recommend for this is the visualization method — Imagine yourself at the end of the day to discover what you want to have accomplished.

      4. They start with the tasks they gave themselves yesterday

      Man writing things down

        Kenneth Chenault (American Express CEO) writes down tomorrows tasks at the end of the day. This means that when his day starts he knows where to begin.  No more fidgeting start-up time. By defining tasks for your future self  at the end of  the day you can start the day with full momentum.

        What you can do: at the end of the day, write down tasks for your future self.

        Tool: Any.do todo manager

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        5. They have a morning routine

        The human body is made for structure. This is reflected in our biological cycle, the circadian rhythm. Both your body and mind will function a lot smoother if your morning is structured. it prevents you from wandering aimlessly (which a loft of people do). Personally I like making a matcha tea, or bulletproof matcha in the morning.

        Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief for plays an intense tennis match every morning. Margaret Thatcher, former U.K. prime minister apparently got up every day to listen to the “Farming Today” radio show. This part of the routine centered each of these successful people for decision-making throughout the remainder of the day.

        What you can do: choose a morning routine and stick to it.

        Tool: Post-its, I have them hanging around as a reminder of my routine

        6. They have a structured life

        As we discussed above, a morning routine is important. The truly productive use this structured morning as a template for the rest of the day. Once you gained momentum in the day, be sure to use that to fuel you for the rest of the day. Structure and productivity are very close friends.

        Benjamin Franklin is a great example of a man with a structured morning and day:

        Benjamin Franklin

          What you can do: structure your days. If your days differ, plan weekly.

          Tool: Google Calendar

          7. They get and stay in shape

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          Girl Wearing Walking Boots Hiking Up A Mountain-min

            Barack Obama plays sports in the morning. If someone that has such a structured schedule as the President of the United States does can find time for exercise, so can you.

            The reason exercise is quite simple. The human body functions best if it is used  for physical activity. In fact, playing sports doesn’t only improve your body, it develops your mental power. Remember the ego depletion we talked about? Exercise is a great way to buffer it. Studies actually show that exercise (and/or taking a nap) increase your willpower.

            Note: good food has an even bigger impact than exercise.

            What you can do: Exercise in the morning. No equipment needed.

            Tool: Books by Pavel Tsatsouline

            8. They work hard but make time for family and leisure

            No matter how productive your morning is, always make time for family and relaxation. Take the two successful US political figures: Obama and Franklin. Both of them were/are obviously incredible busy and successful. Both of them however make/made time for their family and to try and wind down.

            Franklin was known to make time to read, and while it is not a morning habit Obama always tries to have dinner with his family.

            What you can do: in your mornings, plan ahead some time for leisure and family.

            Tools: Goodreads, Whatsapp group

            9. They meditate

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            Man Watching Sunrise On Baconey-min

              Meditation is great for productivity and your overall mood. Both the morning and night are perfect opportunities to incorporate this habit. Tim Ferriss is a great proponent of meditation in the morning. He is a best-selling writer on productivity and health and has shared that he uses meditation to start his day.

              Meditation is pretty easy to start off with.

              What you can do: meditate after waking up, incorporate it into your morning routine.

              Tool: Headspace app

              10. They use the morning go get inspired and motivated

              Nothing sets the tone of your day like how  you start it.

              Tony Robbins is known to use the morning to list a number of things he is grateful for, and to get himself psyched up for the day. It’s a consistent morning routine that gets him going.

              What you can do: think of some things you are grateful for in the morning.

              Tool: Trainings by Tony Robbins

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              Last Updated on September 30, 2019

              How To Write Effective Meeting Minutes (with Examples)

              How To Write Effective Meeting Minutes (with Examples)

              Minutes are a written record of a board, company, or organizational meeting. Meeting minutes are considered a legal document, so when writing them, strive for clarity and consistency of tone.

              Because minutes are a permanent record of the meeting, be sure to proofread them well before sending. It is a good idea to run them by a supervisor or seasoned attendee to make sure statements and information are accurately captured.

              The best meeting minutes takers are careful listeners, quick typists, and are adequately familiar with the meeting topics and attendees. The note taker must have a firm enough grasp of the subject matter to be able to separate the important points from the noise in what can be long, drawn-out discussions. And, importantly, the note taker should not simultaneously lead and take notes. (If you’re ever asked to do so, decline.)

              Following, are some step-by-step hints to effectively write meeting minutes:

              1. Develop an Agenda

              Work with the Chairperson or Board President to develop a detailed agenda.

              Meetings occur for a reason, and the issues to be addressed and decided upon need to be listed to alert attendees. Work with the convener to draft an agenda that assigns times to each topic to keep the meeting moving and to make sure the group has enough time to consider all items.

              The agenda will serve as your outline for the meeting minutes. Keep the minutes’ headings consistent with the agenda topics for continuity.

              2. Follow a Template from Former Minutes Taken

              If you are new to a Board or organization, and are writing minutes for the first time, ask to see the past meeting minutes so that you can maintain the same format.

              Generally, the organization name or the name of the group that is meeting goes at the top: “Meeting of the Board of Directors of XYZ,” with the date on the next line. After the date, include both the time the meeting came to order and the time the meeting ended.

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              Most groups who meet do so regularly, with set agenda items at each meeting. Some groups include a Next Steps heading at the end of the minutes that lists projects to follow up on and assigns responsibility.

              A template from a former meeting will also help determine whether or not the group records if a quorum was met, and other items specific to the organization’s meeting minutes.

              3. Record Attendance

              On most boards, the Board Secretary is the person responsible for taking the meeting minutes. In organizational meetings, the minutes taker may be a project coordinator or assistant to a manager or CEO. She or he should arrive a few minutes before the meeting begins and pass around an attendance sheet with all members’ names and contact information.

              Meeting attendees will need to check off their names and make edits to any changes in their information. This will help as both a back-up document of attendees and ensure that information goes out to the most up-to-date email addresses.

              All attendees’ names should be listed directly below the meeting name and date, under a subheading that says “Present.” List first and last names of all attendees, along with title or affiliation, separated by a comma or semi-colon.

              If a member of the Board could not attend the meeting, cite his or her name after the phrase: “Copied To:” There may be other designations in the participants’ list. For example, if several of the meeting attendees are members of the staff while everyone else is a volunteer, you may want to write (Staff) after each staff member.

              As a general rule, attendees are listed alphabetically by their last names. However, in some organizations, it’s a best practice to list the leadership of the Board first. In that case, the President or Co-Presidents would be listed first, followed by the Vice President, followed by the Secretary, and then by the Treasurer. Then all other names of attendees would be alphabetized by last name.

              It is also common practice to note if a participant joined the meeting via conference call. This can be indicated by writing: “By Phone” and listing the participants who called in.

              4. Naming Convention

              Generally, the first time someone speaks in the meeting will include his or her name and often the title.

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              For example, “President of the XYZ Board, Roger McGowan, called the meeting to order.” The next time Roger McGowan speaks, though, you can simply refer to him as “Roger.” If there are two Rogers in the meeting, use an initial for their last names to separate the two. “Roger M. called for a vote. Roger T. abstained.”

              5. What, and What Not, to Include

              Depending on the nature of the meeting, it could last from one to several hours. The attendees will be asked to review and then approve the meeting minutes. Therefore, you don’t want the minutes to extend into a lengthy document.

              Capturing everything that people say verbatim is not only unnecessary, but annoying to reviewers.

              For each agenda item, you ultimately want to summarize only the relevant points of the discussion along with any decisions made. After the meeting, cull through your notes, making sure to edit out any circular or repetitive arguments and only leave in the relevant points made.

              6. Maintain a Neutral Tone

              Minutes are a legal document. They are used to establish an organization’s historical record of activity. It is essential to maintain an even, professional tone. Never put inflammatory language in the minutes, even if the language of the meeting becomes heated.

              You want to record the gist of the discussion objectively, which means mentioning the key points covered without assigning blame. For example, “The staff addressed board members’ questions regarding the vendor’s professionalism.”

              Picture a lawyer ten years down the road reading the minutes to find evidence of potential wrongdoing. You wouldn’t want an embellishment in the form of a colorful adverb or a quip to cloud any account of what took place. Here’s a list of neutral sounding words to get started with.

              7. Record Votes

              The primary purpose of minutes is to record any votes a board or organization takes. Solid record-keeping requires mentioning which participant makes a motion — and what the motion states verbatim — and which participant seconds the motion.

              For example, “Vice President Cindy Jacobsen made a motion to dedicate 50 percent, or $50,000, of the proceeds from the ZZZ Foundation gift to the CCC scholarship fund. President Roger McGowan seconded the motion.”

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              This vote tabulation should be expressed in neutral language as well. “The Board voted unanimously to amend the charter in the following way,” or “The decision to provide $1,000 to the tree-planting effort passed 4 to 1, with Board President McGowan opposing.”

              Most Boards try to get a vote passed unanimously. Sometimes in order to help the Board attain a more cohesive outcome, a Board member may abstain from voting. “The motion passed 17 to 1 with one absension.”

              8. Pare down Notes Post-Meeting

              Following the meeting, read through your notes while all the discussions remain fresh in your mind, and make any needed revisions. Then, pare the meeting minutes down to their essentials, providing a brief account of the discussion that summarizes arguments made for and against a decision.

              People often speak colloquially or in idioms, as in: “This isn’t even in the ballpark” or “You’re beginning to sound like a broken record.” While you may be tempted to keep the exact language in the minutes to add color, resist.

              Additionally, if any presentations are part of the meeting, do not include information from the Powerpoint in the minutes. However, you will want to record the key points from the post-presentation discussion.

              9. Proofread with Care

              Make sure that you spelled all names correctly, inserted the correct date of the meeting, and that your minutes read clearly.

              Spell out acronyms the first time they’re used. Remember that the notes may be reviewed by others for whom the acronyms are unfamiliar. Stay consistent in headings, punctuation, and formatting. The minutes should be polished and professional.

              10. Distribute Broadly

              Once approved, email minutes to the full board — not just the attendees — for review. Your minutes will help keep those who were absent apprised of important actions and decisions.

              At the start of the next meeting, call for the approval of the minutes. Note any revisions. Try to work out the agreed-upon changes in the meeting, so that you don’t spend a huge amount of time on revisions.

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              Ask for a motion to approve the minutes with the agreed-upon changes. Once an attendee offers a motion, ask for another person in the meeting to “second” the motion. They say, “All approved.” Always ask if there is anyone who does not approve. Assuming not, then say: “The minutes from our last meeting are approved once the agreed-upon changes have been made.”

              11. File Meticulously

              Since minutes are a legal document, take care when filing them. Make sure the file name of the document is consistent with the file names of previously filed minutes.

              Occasionally, members of the organization may want to review past minutes. Know where the minutes are filed!

              One Caveat

              In this day and age of high technology, you may ask yourself: Wouldn’t it be simpler to record the meeting? This depends on the protocols of the organization, but probably not.

              Be sure to ask what the rules are at the organization where you are taking minutes. Remember that the minutes are a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said at the meeting.

              The minutes reflect decisions not discussions. In spite of their name, “minutes,” the minutes are not a minute-by-minute transcript.

              Bottom Line

              Becoming an expert minutes-taker requires a keen ear, a willingness to learn, and some practice, but by following these tips you will soon become proficient.

              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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