Become Your Most Successful Self With These 9 Morning Habits

Have you ever noticed how some people just seem to be calm, focused and productive in the mornings? If you tend to wake up feeling bleary-eyed and flustered, there’s a chance you could achieve so much more by adopting certain new behaviors.

The following nine habits come recommended by organization experts and highly successful individuals.

1. Be the first one to rise

Research shows that even just waking up 10 or 15 minutes earlier than everyone in the house can make a difference to overall productivity. You’ll have this time to yourself, to think over your plans and goals for the day before everyone else’s needs, questions and demands begin to interrupt your thought processes.

Don’t underestimate the positive effect that this strategy can have on your mood!

2. Do your basic tasks in the same order each day

You can essentially create muscle memory for your daily chores. Think of the way you brush your teeth, for example—you probably follow the same order each day, without even thinking about it (and the same is likely true for the way you shower).

If you do the rest of your morning routine in a set order, you’ll be able to do everything without really having to devote conscious thought to each step. This can make mornings less stressful, and also ensure you get ready at a more efficient pace.

 3. Identify three things that will make your day successful

Successful people give some thought to the structure of their days. Take some time to think about what you’ll need to make the day good, and identify three things that you want to achieve (even if their minor). Next, figure out how to make sure these three things can be scheduled into your day—and come up with a few contingency plans, so that you succeed no matter what happens.

 4. Do something you love for 5-10 minutes

You’ll be more optimistic and productive if you allow yourself to do something you love in the morning—and you’ll hardly lose out on much valuable work time if you just spend 5-10 minutes on your chosen activity.

Good examples include listening to a favorite song, reading a chapter of your current novel, or meditating. You’ll start the day out on a great note after this little moment of “me time.”

5. Don’t check your phone immediately…

If you keep your phone right next to your bed, it’s tempting to grab it as soon as you wake up. However, you then immediately lose yourself in social media feeds, emails, and the latest news. Try to spend at least a minute breathing, stretching and centering yourself before you go and check your phone.

If you find you start the day feeling happier and more focused, do the same thing the next morning! As a bonus, refusing to leave your phone right next to your pillow can also remove the temptation to disrupt your sleep by checking the device during the night.

6. …but do reply to critical emails first

Once you do check your phone or computer, quickly tackle the most significant emails so that they don’t distract and bother you for the rest of the day. You might want to try doing this before your morning chores, and setting aside no more than 15 minutes for it (which reduces the temptation to wander off into time-wasting sites).

You’ll quickly be on top of all the most significant personal and work-related correspondence, ready for a maximally productive day.

7. Adjust your to-do list

Although it’s smart to have your to-do list organized before you wake up in the morning, it should be viewed as a dynamic entity.

To make your day more successful, take a close look at the list early in the day and shuffle things as needed—add new tasks, remove ones that are no longer urgent, and build up a clear image of how the rest of the day will go.

8. Start with the hardest task

Just as it’s smart to reply to pressing emails right away, you’ll feel better about the hours ahead if you tackle some of the least appealing tasks straight away. Think of the sense of lightness you’ll feel if you deal with the trash before work instead of after, or if you immediately make that call you’ve been dreading.

You’ll take your relieved and unburdened attitude into the rest of your day, and your good mood will boost your chances of succeeding in all you do.

9. Prepare your food the night before

Finally, as well as adding the above morning habits, try removing any involving arduous preparation of food. If you sort out the main elements of your breakfast or lunch before going to bed at night, everything will run a lot more smoothly in the morning.