We hear it all the time—the early bird catches the worm. And many studies have proven that to be true. Take one poll by Vanderkam, for instance, that cited 90 percent of executives said they’re up before 6 a.m. on weekdays, and nearly 50 percent of self-made millionaires wake up at least three hours before their workday actually begins.
But what does one have to do with the other? The truth is, time is money. And it’s precious. And when you get up early, you suddenly have much more time in the day to get things done that might otherwise not get done later on.
Okay, but what do people actually do in the morning that really sets them up for success? Here are a few examples of morning habits from nine successful women who use the morning to set the tone for their day.
“I do a 20-minute meditation because it helps me start the day centered, calm, energized, and ready to go.” —Alexis Wolfer, founder and editor-in-chief of TheBeautyBean.com
Get a big thing checked off your to-do list
“The quiet hours of the morning can be the ideal time to focus on an important work project without being interrupted. What’s more, spending time on it at the beginning of the day ensures that it gets your attention before others–kids, employees, bosses–use it up.” —Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
Drink all the coffee
“I head straight to the coffee pot. Really, I’m one of those people.” —Katie Kime, owner of a lifestyle brand of fashion and home decor
Or ditch coffee entirely
“About a year ago, I stopped drinking caffeine, and I cannot say enough for what it’s done for my energy levels and ability to wake up each morning ready to charge into the day ahead. I’ve kept the ritual of my morning (decaf) coffee and save the real stuff for when I absolutely need it.” —Jessica Randazza, head of marketing at Danone-Nutricia Early Life Nutrition
Listen to an uplifting podcast
“I never start a day without listening to Morning Edition on NPR. I stream it from my phone in the bathroom while I’m showering and getting ready for the day.” —Anneke Jong, VP of operations and strategy at Reserve
Get in some movement
“I do some back and hip stretches, along with a two-minute plank, which helps my mind and body focus for the day.” —Elisabeth Halfpapp, executive VP and co-creator of the Core Fusion Barre program at Exhale Spa; co-author of Barre Fitness
Write, even a little bit
“[I] drink a quick cup of coffee in my kitchen and spend a few minutes writing…a snippet of a dream, a bit of fiction or a journal entry.” —Sally Susman, The Pharma Executive
Avoid your phone
“I don’t turn on my phone until I’ve brushed my teeth, made breakfast, and gotten dressed. Not only does it make me more productive, but it’s a reminder that I can separate. Along those lines: I wake up to a real clock that plays the radio, instead of my phone.” —Meredith Fineman, founder of FinePoint
“Sometimes I write, other times I exercise, and then there are times I just drink coffee in my PJs and stare into space and think. Even when I do ‘nothing,’ it’s time well spent: I believe that women need to carve out time to sit with ourselves and just concentrate. Mindfulness is a powerful weapon against all kinds of bad stuff, like depression, boredom, weight gain, and creative blocks, so we might as well use it.”—Siobhan Adcock, executive editor at WhatToExpect.com and author of The Barter
Are you a morning person or night owl? What’s your morning routine? Do you find the tone of your morning can set you up for success later on?