How do successful people cope with that first half hour of work? What they do in that crucial time can usually set the tone for the rest of the day. Many people are convinced that their early morning work routine is an important element in their success. Let’s look at what these successful people do every day, first thing, and maybe learn a few tricks from them along the way.
Tony Robbins practices gratitude and visualization
The famous life coach to the stars recommends starting each work day with being grateful for what you have. He says that you should spend up to 15 minutes thinking about being grateful for everything positive in your life. He also advocates that you then try to understand what you are committed to and what you want from life. This leads to the peak state which gives you the certainty to succeed.
“Take thoughts and turn them into actions, turn them into results, turn your dreams into reality.” —Tony Robbins
Tim Cook does his email at 4:30 a.m.
Many people advocate staying away from email until they get well into the day’s work. Tim Cook, the Apple CEO, firmly believes in getting them out of the way first. He says it leaves him time to concentrate on the top priorities when he gets to the office.
David Karp checks his email when he arrives at the office
The founder of Tumblr is against all kinds of scheduling and manages an enormously successful blogging platform which hosts about 17.5 million blogs. He never checks email at home but does it when he arrives at the office. He says that it helps him to prioritize tasks for the day.
Setting up filters using Awayfind.com is one way of sorting out all unimportant mails if you feel you are overwhelmed. It will only deliver top priority emails and texts.
Julie Morgenstern, the author of Never Check E-mail in The Morning, takes a different approach and has put forward lots of different ways of becoming more efficient at work.
Mark Twain recommended doing the hardest task first
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”—Mark Twain
Mark Twain was a great advocate of getting the hardest and most daunting task (in other words, the frog) done first thing in the morning. The sense of accomplishment and satisfaction will keep you on a high as you get through all the other jobs.
Howard Schultz believes in getting priorities established
The Starbucks CEO usually spends the first hour getting priorities sorted. But he has already done some cycling with his wife and still manages to arrive at his office by 6 a.m.
Geraldine Laybourne believes in helping the next generation
The ex-CEO of Oxygen Channel is a great believer in offering advice to young people. She likes to do that by taking a walk with them in Central Park very early. She believes early risers deserve to be helped and she herself manages to get some exercise.
Laura Vanderkam recommends writing a challenging report or email
Laura is the author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. She says that writing needs concentration and the best time to do it is in the first hour of the day, when distractions, interruptions, and meetings are at a minimum. Willpower will be at its peak during that first half hour.
John Grisham believes in a strict routine
Writing, according to the great author, requires self-discipline. He always followed a set routine in getting going during the first hour when he was working as a lawyer. He got up at 5 a.m.and had to be in the office with a cup of coffee by 5:30 a.m. By that time the first words had to be written. He had to write a page a day, whether it took him 10 minutes or two hours. It was only then that he would start his law work.
Todd Smith always greets colleagues appropriately
Todd Smith has 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur, and his book Little Things Matter is a manual on how to treat colleagues and peers. Naturally, he talks about how important greeting your co-workers is.
Nothing worse than people not saying “good morning,” or ignoring you altogether. It is very important to build teamwork, boost morale and also to bond with the people you work with by greeting them or exchanging a friendly word or two. This is especially important in the first half hour as people are feeling fragile or have low morale.
Following email etiquette also helps. A good idea is not to overload the CC circuit and only copy in the people who are directly involved.
Benjamin Franklin always wanted to be helpful in the morning
“The Morning Question: What good shall I do this day?”—Benjamin Franklin
Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, shares Franklin’s views. He starts the day by doing good, too. He strongly believes that helping a co-worker solve a problem or introducing two contacts are ways to create positive karma, and you will always receive some in return. Building goodwill and support is the best way to start your day.
Steve Murphy devotes morning time to planning
The CEO of Rodale urges people to set aside the first hour or so to thinking time and jotting down ideas and priorities on a notepad. This makes his work much more strategic and proactive. It was William Blake’s quote that inspired him to start doing this.
“Think in the morning, act in the noon, read in the evening, and sleep at night.” —William Blake
Tim Armstrong recommends learning and listening
The CEO of AOL does a lot of his emails in his hour-long journey to work. As he has a driver, he can easily do that. He prefers to use his office time learning and listening to colleagues and networking.
As we have seen, a lot of successful people deal with emails the moment they get up and try to get them out of the way for more strategic work when they actually get to the office. Everybody has a different working style.
Do you do some of the things successful people do every day? Let us know in the comments how you cope with that dreaded first half hour.