I had a very interesting conversation with my nephew recently about “the morning routines of successful entrepreneurs.” This is a topic frequently covered by personal development and lifestyle design podcasters, where their guests all suggest they have a similar routine that includes mental, physical and emotional focus
The routines generally include:
- Meditate: 30-45 minutes
- Workout: 30-45 minutes
- Read news, emails, motivational book: 30 minutes
- Cook and eat a healthy breakfast: 45 minutes
- Start the workday
My nephews reaction was priceless. After sharing this he says, “that’s great, but I’m not getting up 2 hours before I start my day – how are normal people supposed to do that?”
As a new dad I certainly have a greater respect for sleep than I ever had before, and getting up 2 hours earlier is not a likely possibility. Especially when my day already starts at 5:30am and we still scramble to get out the door to beat traffic. Scenes out of the movie Daddy Daycare seems more realistic.
The consensus amongst most people seems to be survival and hacks, tips and tricks to make life as easy as possible (especially if you have kids).
A More Practical Morning Routine
While there are many ways to start a morning routine – a routine that’s practical for normal people starts with these three things:
Prepare for tomorrow, the night before
Most mornings are hectic, and by eliminating decisions you will conserve energy and create more time for micro-routines you can build on as you grow. For example, the night before I fill the tea kettle, put the teabag in the cup.
I also prepare breakfast in advance – I put my protein powder and banana beside the blender (I choose a protein shake as a quick healthy alternative). Next, I pick out clothes the night before – eliminating choices from my morning (this makes life so much easier). And if you have kids, getting everything ready the night before is a must! Pack lunches, have clothes laid out and book bags packed in advance.
Practice being grateful
Also the simplest way to build a positive routine is to be grateful. Instead of hitting the snooze button on your iPhone, spend those few minutes reflecting on the things you are grateful for.
And yes, there’s an App for that – it’s called The Five Minute Journal app and it is built with proven principles of positive psychology. For example, it asks you to write down three things: What are you grateful for today? What would make today great? And daily affirmations.
Get up and get moving
While you may not have time for a full-blown workout, try to fit in a few pushups, sit-ups and even a minute of planks before you hop in the shower. These simple actions will activate massive changes in your brain and create a chain reaction of chemical releases within your body that will help you perform at a higher level.
While we may not have the freedom to develop the routine of a billionaire entrepreneur, you can take small steps in developing the foundation of a sound morning routine that can grow as you continue in your pursuit of happiness.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Doug Foley is a marketer, entrepreneur, and strategic thinker who frequently writes about marketing strategies that small businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs can use to immediately implement to jump start their growth. Connect with @douglasjfoley on Twitter.