The morning routine: how to be successful by 9am...every day

Written by Professional Academy Management & Leadership Tutor, Kathryn Knights

What do successful people have in common? Nearly all of them have a structured morning routine. Bill Gates (Microsoft co-founder) spends an hour on the treadmill, watching courses from the Teaching Company. Barack Obama (US president) keeps a strict morning workout routine of weights and cardio at 6.45am, before eating breakfast with his family and helping to pack his daughters off to school. If you're someone who struggles to get out of bed each day or maybe you're someone who springs out of bed but isn't making the best out of those morning hours then read on.

Investing in your morning routine is one of the most powerful ways to take ownership of your day and improve your overall well-being. Preparing yourself physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually each day through a structured morning routine will help you develop into the successful person you want to be. I speak from experience. I've always had to get up early for work but it's not been until recently that I've mastered the morning routine. Before I was self employed I used to get up early because I had to be at my desk by 9am, but I never took time to reflect on whether I was using my time effectively or if what I was doing before work was influencing the rest of my day.

Life Savers infographic

The 'Life SAVERS' model is a great tool to use to bring some structure to your morning. It captures the main themes frequently referred to in articles discussing the morning routine. The model was created by Hal Elrod, author of 'The Miracle Morning'. The six parts of the routine (silence, affirmations, visualisation, exercise, reading, and scribing) can be scaled to fit your own life. Elrod has even suggested scaling them to just six minutes, to fit the lives of the busiest people. However, most productivity and personal development specialists suggest aiming for a morning routine of around 90 minutes.

I'm a firm believer in keeping things simple and in making changes gradually. Changing your morning routine means changing your habits. As I mentioned in my recent Time Management blog, if you want to increase your chances of making a new habit stick then don't overhaul your life in one go, change just one aspect. Your small successes will motivate you to keep going and inspire you to introduce new habits in the coming months. Pick one of the elements of the 'Life SAVERS' model and start building it into your morning routine. If that means you need to get up 15 minutes earlier then go to bed 15 minutes earlier to trade off the difference. A good night's sleep is equally as important as a good morning routine. I'm personally a big fan of the 'exercise' element of the 'Life SAVERS' model. I take a 20 minute walk each morning to reflect on the day ahead, clear my mind and engage with the outside world. I always come back home feeling energised and ready to start my day.

So what are you waiting for? I encourage you to take action and to invest in your morning routine. Your future self will thank you for it.

If you need further advice you can contact me via LinkedIn.

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