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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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              Published on January 16, 2019

              How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

              How to Effectively Manage a Heavy Workload at Work

              We’re all busy, but sometimes we go through periods where the work piles up and it seems like it might never end.

              You might have such a heavy workload that it feels too intimidating to even start.

              You may have said yes to some or too many projects, and now you’re afraid you won’t be able to deliver.

              That’s when you need to take a step back, take a deep breath, and start looking at what’s working and what’s not working.

              Here’re 13 strategies you can use to get out from under your overwhelming workload:

              1. Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All

              Many of us have a tendency to think we can do more than we actually can. We take on more and more projects and responsibility and wear numerous hats.

              We all have the opportunity to have and take on more work than we can reasonably expect to get done. Unfortunately, our workload is not static. Even now, while you are reading this article, I’m guessing that your inbox is filling up with fresh new tasks.

              To make real, effective progress, you have to have both the courage and resourcefulness to say, “This is not working”. Acknowledge that you can’t do it all and look for better solutions.

              At any given time in your life, there are likely many things that aren’t going according to plan. You have to be willing to be honest with yourself and those around you about what’s not working for you, both personally and professionally.

              The more you exercise your ability to tell the truth about what’s working and what’s not working, the faster you’ll make progress.

              2. Focus on Your Unique Strengths

              Whether you’re an entrepreneur, a leader or working as part of a team, every individual has unique strengths they can bring to the table.

              The challenge is that many people end up doing things that they’re simply not very good at.

              In the pursuit of reaching your goals or delivering a project, people end up doing everything themselves or taking on things that don’t play to their unique strengths. This can result in frustration, overwhelm and overwork.

              It can mean projects taking a lot longer to complete because of knowledge gaps, or simply not utilizing the unique strengths of other people you work with.

              It is often not about how to complete this project more effectively but who can help deliver this project.

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              So, what are your unique strengths that will ensure your workload is delivered more effectively? Here’re some questions to help you reflect:

              • Are you a great strategist?
              • Are you an effective planner?
              • Is Project Management your strength?
              • Is communication and bringing people together your strength?
              • Are you the ideas person?
              • Is Implementation your strength?

              Think about how you can bring the biggest value to your work and the projects you undertake.

              3. Use the Strengths of Your Team

              One of the simplest ways to manage your workload effectively is to free up your time so you bring your highest level of energy, focus and strengths to each project.

              Delegation or better teamwork is the solution.

              Everyone has unique strengths. It’s essential to think teamwork rather than working in isolation to ensure projects can be completed effectively. Besides, every time you give away a task or project that doesn’t play to your unique strengths, you open up an opportunity to do something you’re more talented at. This will empower both yourself and those around you.

              Rather than taking on all the responsibilities yourself, look at who you can work with to deliver the best results possible.

              4. Take Time for Planning

              “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe”. – Abraham Lincoln

              One hour of effective planning could save hours of time. Rather than just rushing in and getting started on projects, take the time to map everything in.

              You can take the time to think about:

              • What’s the purpose of the project?
              • How Important is it?
              • When does it need to be delivered by?
              • What is the best result and worst result for this project?
              • What are the KPIs?
              • What does the project plan and key milestones look like?
              • Who is working on this project?
              • What is everyone’s responsibilities?
              • What tolerances can I add in?
              • What are the review stages?
              • What are the challenges we may face and the solutions for these challenges?

              Having absolute clarity on the project, the project deliverables and the result you want can save a lot of time. It also gets you clear on the priorities and timelines, so you can block out the required amount of time to focus and concentrate.

              5. Focus on Priorities

              Not everything is a priority, although it can often feel, in the moment, that it is.

              Whatever you’re working on, there is always the Most Urgent, Important or Most Valuable projects or tasks.

              One tool you can use to maximize your productivity and focus on your biggest priorities is to use the Eisenhower Matrix. This strategic tool for taking action on the things that matter most is simple. You separate your actions based on four possibilities:

              1. Urgent and important (tasks you will do immediately).
              2. Important, but not urgent (tasks you will schedule to do later).
              3. Urgent, but not important (tasks you will delegate to someone else).
              4. Neither urgent nor important (tasks that you will eliminate).

              James Clear has a great description on how to use the Eisenhower Matrix: How to be More Productive By Using the Eisenhower Box

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                The method I use with my coaching clients is to ask them to lay out their Top Five priorities for the day. Then to start with the most important priority first. At the end of the day, you review performance against these priorities.

                If you didn’t get everything accomplished, start the next day with your number one priority.

                If you are given additional task/projects during the day, then you will need to gauge their importance V the other priorities.

                6. Take Time Out

                To stay on top of a heavy workload, it’s important to take time out to rest and recuperate.

                If your energy levels are high and your mind and body is refreshed and alert, you are in more of a peak state to handle a heavy workload.

                Take time out of your day to go for a walk or get some exercise in. Leave early when possible and spend time with people who give you a lot of energy.

                In the background, it’s essential to get a good night’s sleep and eat healthily to sharpen the mind.

                Take a look at this article learn about The Importance of Scheduling Downtime.

                7. Maintain a Healthy Work-Life Balance

                Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be tough. The balance we all crave is very different from one another.

                I’ve written before about 13 Work Life Balance Tips for a Happy and Productive Life. Working longer and harder doesn’t mean achieving more, especially if you have no time to spend with the people that matter most. The quality of who you are as a person, the relationships you have, the time you spend in work, deciding on what matters most is completely within your control.

                Work-life balance is about finding peace within yourself to be fully present, wherever you are, whether that be in the office or at home, right now. It’s about choosing what matters most and creating your own balanced life.

                If you feel there is not enough balance, then it may be time to make a change.

                8. Stop Multitasking

                Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain simply can’t work effectively by doing more than one thing at a time—at least more than one thing that requires focused attention.

                So get your list of priorities (see earlier point), do the most important thing first, then move to the next item and work down your list.

                When you split your focus over a multitude of different areas, you can’t consistently deliver a high performance. You won’t be fully present on the one task or project at hand.

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                If you allocate blocked time and create firm boundaries for specific activities and commitments, you won’t feel so overwhelmed or overworked with everything you have to do.

                9. Work in Blocks of Time

                To keep your energy up to produce your best results it’s essential to take regular breaks.

                I use the 60-60-30 method myself and teach it to my coaching clients.

                Work on a project for a sustained period of 50 minutes.

                Then take a 10-minute break. This could be taking a walk, having a healthy snack or just having a conversation with someone.

                Then continue to work on the project for a further 50 minutes.

                Then take another 10-minute break.

                Then take a complete 30-minute break to unplug from the work. This could be time for a proper lunch, a quick bit of exercise, reading or having a walk.

                By simply taking some time out, your energy levels stay up, the quality of your work improves and you reduce the risk of becoming burned out.

                10. Get Rid of Distractions

                Make an estimation on how many times you are distracted during an average working day. Now take that number and multiply it by 25. According to Gloria Mark in her study on The Cost of Interrupted Work, it takes us an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to the original task after interruption.[1]

                “Our research has shown that attention distraction can lead to higher stress, a bad mood and lower productivity.”

                Distractions don’t just take up your time during the distraction, they can derail your mental progress and focus for almost 25 minutes. So, if you are distracted 5 times per day, you could be losing almost 2 hours every day of productive work and almost 10 hours every week.

                If you have an important project to work on, find a space where you won’t be distracted, or try doing this.

                11. Commit Focused Time to Smaller Tasks

                You know sometimes, you need to simply tackle these tasks and take action on them. But there’s always something more pressing.

                Small tasks can often get in the way of your most important projects. They sit there on your daily To Do list but are often forgotten about because of more important priorities or because they hold no interest for you. But they take up mental energy. They clutter your mind.

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                Commit to spending a specific period of time completing all the small tasks you have on your To Do list. It will give you peace of mind and the space to focus more on your bigger priorities.

                12. Take a Time Audit

                Do you know exactly where your time is going each day? Are you spending too long on certain projects and tasks to the detriment of bigger opportunities?

                Spend a bit of time to analyze where you are spending your time. This insight will amaze you and give you the clarity to start adjusting where you focus your time and on what projects.

                You can start by taking a piece of paper and creating three columns:

                Column A is Priority Work. Column B is Good Work. Column C is low value work or stuff.

                Each day, write down the project or task and the time spent on each. Allocate that time to one of the columns.

                At the end of the week, record the total time spent in each column.

                If you are spending far too much time on certain types of work, look to change things so your focused time is in Column B and C.

                13. Protect Your Confidence

                It is essential to protect our confidence to ensure we don’t get overwhelmed, stressed and lose belief.

                When you have confidence as a daily resource, you are in a better position to problem solve, learn quicker, respond to anything, adjust to anything, and achieve your biggest opportunities.

                Confidence gives you the ability to transform fear into focused and relaxed thinking, communication, and action. This is key to put your mind into a productive state.

                When confidence is high, you can clearly see the possibilities at hand and create strategies to take advantage of them, or to solve the challenges you face each day.

                Final Words

                A heavy workload can be tough to deal with and can cause stress, burnout and ongoing frustration.

                The key is to tackle it head on, rather than let it go on and compound the long-term effects. Hopefully, you can take action on at least one of these tips.

                If it gets too much, and negatively affects your physical and mental health, it may be time to talk to someone. Instead of dealing with it alone and staying unhappier, resentful and getting to a point where you simply can’t cope, you have to make a change for your own sanity.

                Featured photo credit: Hannah Wei via unsplash.com

                Reference

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