“Dimidium facti, qui coepit, habet”
“He who has begun has half done”
It doesn’t take much research to realise that a good morning routine has a huge impact on productivity and mood. Just think how not hearing your alarm clock immediately or not having a relaxed breakfast can irreparably ruin your day.
Small habits perfected over time help make everything easier.
Want to take it a step further by copying a few tricks from the world’s most successful managers? Check out our tips for a morning routine entirely focused on productivity!
1. Wake up early
What do Tim Cook (Apple), Howard Schultz (Starbucks), Jack Dorsey (Twitter), Richard Branson (Virgin) and Elon Musk (Tesla) have in common? Besides being CEOs of some of the world’s biggest companies, they all wake up before 7am. Coincidence? Absolutely not.
According to a research published in 2009 in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology early risers are the most proactive and tend to be more efficient at anticipating problems, especially in corporate environments.
However, being an early riser is not for everyone: in 47% of cases it’s a genetic factor. Don’t worry, though, because it’s consistency that counts: a good routine can be built from 10am onwards too (working longer hours).
2. Improve your sleep routine
As mentioned in the previous point, consistency is a key factor in building an optimal routine. It all starts, of course, with sleep, which can be improved (unless there are physical problems) by following a few steps:
- Always go to bed at the same time on working days (weekends are “free”).
- Avoid alcohol and heavy foods in the evening during working days.
- Disconnect from work-related devices at least one hour before going to bed, as this can cause stress.
3. Start doing email triages and to-do list
When sitting at your desk, start off by organizing your day. The first step is to check your emails, sort them according to priority and the tasks they require. Based on this you can organise the rest of your working hours efficiently.
It’s advisable to always start with the most complex task, leaving for the last hours of the day the tasks that require less concentration (have you already read the article on prioritising work?).
4. Finish your working day by organizing the next one
A good morning routine also depends on the previous day’s organization. In the last few minutes of the day, whenever possible, start preparing materials and documents that you’ll need for the first task of the next day: this will save you a lot of time!
5. Pay attention to your health
Don’t skip breakfast, get some exercise, take a few minutes to spend time with your family or relax by reading the newspaper. The first step to a good day is good physical health!