9 things high-achievers never do in the morning

Tina Fey by Tina Fey | March 22, 2024, 11:49 pm

There’s a stark difference between high-achievers and the rest of us, and it starts with how they tackle mornings.

High-achievers don’t just roll out of bed and stumble into their day. They have a plan, a routine, and they stick to it, setting themselves up for success before the rest of us have even hit the snooze button.

Believe me, it’s not about being a morning person or not, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, what you don’t do in those first few hours.

In this article, I’m going to let you into the secret world of high-achievers and share nine things they never do when they rise with the sun.

1) High-achievers never hit snooze

Here’s a tough truth that might hit a little too close to home for some of us – high-achievers don’t hit the snooze button.

That’s right, when the alarm sounds, they’re up and at ’em. No dilly-dallying, no second chances, no “Just five more minutes.”

Snoozing may seem harmless, but it actually confuses your brain and body and can leave you feeling groggy for hours. This is something high-achievers are keen to avoid.

Instead of clinging to those last few moments of sleep, they rise promptly, taking charge of their day from the get-go. It’s about discipline and starting the day on their own terms.

Every time you hit snooze, you’re literally starting your day by procrastinating. And that’s not something high-achievers have time for.

2) They don’t skip breakfast

I’ll let you in on a little secret – I used to be a breakfast skipper. Rushing out the door with just a coffee in hand was my norm. But then I noticed something. By mid-morning, I was already sluggish and struggling to concentrate.

Then, I read about the morning routines of high-achievers and learned that they never skip breakfast. It’s often quoted as the most important meal of the day, and there’s a good reason for that.

Breakfast refuels your body after a long night of fasting (hence the name – breaking the fast). It kick-starts your metabolism and helps you to wake up both physically and mentally.

After adopting this habit, I found that having a balanced breakfast not only keeps my energy levels steady but also curbs overeating later in the day.

So, if you’re looking to join the ranks of high-achievers, start your day with a nutritious meal. It can make a world of difference.

3) They don’t neglect exercise

High-achievers understand the importance of physical activity, especially in the morning.

Exercise isn’t just for keeping your body in shape; it also plays a crucial role in mental acuity.

When you exercise, your body releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed.

It also increases blood flow to the brain, enhancing your cognitive abilities.

Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, credits his morning workout routine for his high levels of productivity.

He claims it gives him an additional four hours of productive time each day.

So, whether it’s a quick jog around the block or an hour at the gym, high-achievers make sure to get their heart rates up in the morning.

4) They don’t waste time on trivial decisions

High-achievers know the value of their time, especially in the morning.

They avoid spending precious minutes on trivial decisions, like what to wear or what to eat for breakfast.

These seemingly insignificant choices can add up and lead to decision fatigue, a real psychological condition where making too many decisions leads to poorer quality choices later in the day.

To combat this, many successful people adopt routines that eliminate unnecessary decisions.

For example, Steve Jobs famously wore the same black turtleneck, jeans and sneakers every day.

By reducing the number of decisions they have to make each morning, high-achievers can focus their mental energy on more important tasks.

5) They don’t check their emails immediately

It might sound contrary to what you’d expect, but high-achievers don’t dive straight into their inbox first thing in the morning.

When you open your email, you’re opening yourself up to other people’s agendas. Their requests and needs can quickly derail your own plans for the day.

Instead, successful people start their day proactively, focusing on their own priorities before attending to others. They understand that their highest levels of energy and focus are in the morning, and they don’t want to waste that on reactionary tasks.

This approach allows them to be more productive and take control of their day rather than being led by the demands of their inbox.

6) They don’t skip moments of gratitude

In the rush of our daily lives, it’s easy to overlook the good things we have. But high-achievers never let the morning pass without taking a moment to express gratitude.

Whether it’s for their health, their family, or even just the sunrise, they make a conscious effort to acknowledge and appreciate these blessings. This practice helps to start the day with a positive mindset and a sense of contentment.

Gratitude has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve mental resilience. It’s a simple act that can have profound effects on your outlook and mood.

Before you dive into your tasks for the day, take a moment to reflect on what you’re grateful for. It could make all the difference in how you approach your day.

7) They don’t ignore their mental health

It’s easy to focus on the physical aspects of a morning routine – the breakfast, the exercise, the getting ready for the day. But mental wellbeing is just as important, if not more so.

High-achievers make time in their morning routine for activities that nourish their mind. This could be meditation, journaling, or even just sitting quietly with a cup of tea.

I remember a time when I felt constantly on edge, always rushing from one task to another. It was only when I started incorporating mindfulness into my mornings that I began to feel more balanced and in control.

Your mind is your most valuable asset. Taking care of it isn’t just a luxury – it’s a necessity.

8) They don’t leave their bed unmade

It may seem insignificant, but making your bed in the morning is a common habit among high-achievers. It’s a small task, but it sets the tone for the rest of the day.

Making your bed is a quick and easy win. It gives you a sense of accomplishment first thing in the morning and kick-starts your productivity.

Plus, coming home to a tidy bed at the end of the day can be a comforting sight. It’s a visual reminder that no matter how chaotic your day was, you have a clean and orderly space to rest.

So, before you rush out the door tomorrow morning, take a few minutes to make your bed. You might be surprised at how it impacts your day.

9) They don’t forget to plan their day

High-achievers understand the importance of planning. They don’t leave their day to chance; they map it out, setting clear goals and priorities.

Planning your day allows you to take control of your time. It ensures that you focus on what’s truly important and don’t get sidetracked by less urgent tasks.

Whether it’s a detailed to-do list or a simple outline of your main objectives, having a plan gives you a roadmap to follow and helps you make the most of your day.

Failing to plan is planning to fail. So, take a few minutes each morning to organize your day – it’s a game changer.

Final thought: It’s all about intention

The essence of being a high-achiever is not about doing more; it’s about doing things with intention.

Every action, every decision they make in the morning, is purposeful. It’s about setting the tone for their day, aligning their actions with their goals, and taking control of their time.

High-achievers understand that how you start your morning sets the trajectory for the rest of your day. They choose to start it right, with habits that nurture their body and mind, and set them up for success.

In the words of Benjamin Franklin, “Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” But it’s not just about rising early; it’s about what you do with that time.

So, as you reflect on these nine things high-achievers don’t do in the morning, ask yourself: What can I do differently tomorrow morning to start my day with intention?

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