Morning routines – lessions to learn from the world’s most successful leaders - Us And Co

Us&Co Blog

Morning routines – lessions to learn from the world’s most successful leaders

Eat That Frog – or in everyday speak, do your biggest task first

Brian Tracy, author of the bestselling time-management book ‘Eat That Frog’ took his title inspiration from something Mark Twain once said:

“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

This is a great metaphor for how you should approach your mornings, but in reality what does it mean? One way of interpreting it could mean writing a list of tasks in order of priority which you need to get complete during the day. Use that list to focus on your tasks, and complete them throughout the day. You could even write your list the evening before so it’s ready for you as soon as you get to your desk. The cycle is endless but hopefully fruitful.

Ask yourself one question

In a commencement address in Stanford in 2005 Steve Jobs said:

‘For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.’

We’d agree, if you’re not satisfied by the work you’re doing consider what you could do to change it.

Decide what good you could do with your day

Every morning Benjamin Franklin asked himself “What good shall I do today?” This may sound a bit contrived but it worked, and he lived his life with intention. Ask yourself this question in the morning and see if it helps bring focus for the day ahead.

Sports before sunrise

Even though fitting in some extra shut eye may sound more appealing than hitting the gym, exercise plays an integral role in gaining focus and clarity of the mind. Anna Wintour, Vogue Editor-in-Chief supposedly plays tennis each morning by 5am, whilst Barack Obama claims to always find 45minutes to fit in some physical activity. Break yourself in easy, no one is asking you to run a half marathon in the morning, but a 15 minute home work out will still release those vital endorphins that help you start your day the right way.

Practice gratitude and mindfulness

The Dalai Lama is said to wake by 3am every morning and, amongst other things, one of the first things he will do is meditate. Finding the time to fit in some meditation will clarify the mind and help you focus on the day ahead.

A good morning routine helps you start the day on the right foot preventing you from playing catch-up. Decide how you will approach your mornings and commit to a routine. Developing a good routine will send the right signals to your brain that it’s time to get into work mode.