5 Tips to Master Your Morning Routine Like a Millionaire

A few minutes of alone time can make you much more productive in the office.

(wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

(wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock)

“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.”

Steve Jobs

The most successful businesspeople have learned that becoming more of a “morning person” is instrumental to their success — and their sanity. Here are some tips to help you master your morning:

1. Start preparing the night before. Preparing can mean a number of different things. It can mean laying out your clothes for the next day’s meeting or laying out your workout clothes so when the alarm goes off early, you’re on auto pilot. Personally, I like to have the previous day’s stuff “handled.” So most of the time I will try to check all email and respond to anything I need to address before I go to bed. This way, I start fresh the next morning. I am also a list addict. I look at my calendar the night before and formulate a “to do” list and goals for the following day. Some call this a “tomorrow” list. Lately I have found setting 1-2 “must do’s” is very helpful. At the end of the day, if these 1-2 items are completed you don’t feel as bad if less important items are pushed to another day.

2. Just do something. I’ll admit-some days it’s easy to look at everything you need to do and think staying under the covers watching Bravo with the dogs is the way to go. Start your day by doing something productive. There are different theories on this idea. Some say it’s important to do the tasks that are most difficult or that you dread the most first. Others perform their easiest or most simple tasks first. I don’t think it matters as long as things are getting accomplished. I also feel that productivity feeds on itself. Once you do a few things and feel a sense of accomplishment, you want to do even more. Think about rewarding yourself as well. For example, if I finish five tasks I can spend 20 minutes reading celebrity blogs and talking with friends on Facebook.

But also-do something for you. Start your day doing something that is just for you. Examples could include things like exercise, meditation, walking the dog, or reading something inspiring. As the day goes on, it’s easy to tell yourself that other things are more important. But it all starts with improving your own mind, body and spirit right? That early morning time is just for you.

3. Mantras, music, affirmations, and gratitude. This may sound hokey. I run a Facebook group called #dailygratitude. It’s important to remind yourself what you are grateful for instead of allowing yourself to constantly get caught up in what you don’t have and didn’t get done. Lots of people have a song or daily mantra/affirmation that helps them with their mindset. Anyone remember SNL back in the day with the Stuart Smalley skits? “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it people like me.” There is something to all of this. I like to visualize also. I do a lot of public speaking but would love to get to a place where I am traveling and speaking at national conferences. I visualize myself in front of such audiences. Some people use vision boards to assist them in achieving their goals as well.

4. Strategic planning time and personal goal time is non-negotiable. The same way you set a time to meet a client or see your doctor, set time aside to accomplish things that are important to you. Block off time in your schedule and don’t let timesuckers or even clients ask if there’s any way you can accommodate them unless it is a true emergency. Tip: Use Evernote to save your ideas easily online.

5. 168 Hours. I highly recommend reading 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. You will never look at your morning or any of the 168 hours of the week the same again! Laura says, “We have enough time. We’re just not choosing to spend it in ways that we find meaningful or enjoyable.” She underscores the importance of focusing your days on core competencies or the activities that you do well and minimizing, ignoring or outsourcing everything else. I especially love Laura’s idea of making a list of 100 Dreams. Make your own.

Bonus: Ben Franklin used to reflect every evening and answer the question, “What good have I done today?” This is helpful because we are good at keeping busy and not so good at assessing what we have actually accomplished. Check in with yourself at the end of the day to focus on the next day’s tasks. If it helps, do this with an accountability partner to help keep you both on track.

Jennifer Lynn Robinson is the CEO of Purposeful Networking. She conducts keynotes, workshops and seminars assisting companies, non-profits, groups and conferences to help ensure your networking is working for you. You can connect with her at on Twitter, at purposefulnetworking.com or [email protected].