Jennifer Anniston and Apple CEO Tim Book both rise at 4:00 A.M. and 3:45 A.M., respectively to start their day, get in a workout, or to meditate. I’m not here to tell you to follow suit, instead, here are 4 simple tips to start your morning off right, no matter what time your alarm goes off.
1. Wake Rested. This really starts the night before. You should get a minimum of 7 hours of sleep, and studies show that reading for just 6 minutes before going to bed reduces stress and helps you sleep more soundly. You want to wake up feeling refreshed, as your morning routine is an incredibly crucial time to set the tone for your mindset throughout the entire day.
Former Chairman and CEO of Vanguard Group, Bill McNabb, said “The quiet time between 6:00 am- 7:30 am is when some of my best work gets done. It’s my time to read, think and prepare for the day ahead. I try really hard to preserve that time.”
2. Prepare To Serve
Naturally, you may start thinking about personal tasks or unresolved issues when you first wake up. To prevent this, don’t look at your phone first thing. Instead, brush your smelly teeth, drink a glass of water, read a devotion or motivational quote, and spend a few minutes thinking about why you serve your family and your place of employment.
Our CEO at LearnLoft, John Eades, uses the P.T.S. (Prepare To Serve) Mentality. It’s a practice of saying “prepare to serve” when you change environments to remind yourself to focus on serving others at home, in the workplace, and with anyone you interact with throughout the day. Thinking about serving others will reduce stress, as you’ll avoid wasting energy on racing thoughts.
3. Be Present and Have Perspective
5 years ago, during a human resources chapter meeting, I’ll never forget our presenter instructing us to, “Wake up, go look in the mirror and ask yourself, who am I and who do I want to be today?”. The purpose of this imperative instruction is to be present and have perspective. Great leaders never lose sight of who they truly are and the big picture.
4. Pursue Impact, Not Dollars
If you wake up chasing money, you’ll be let down in the long-run. The one time in my career when I accepted a new job solely for a significant income boost proved to be costly. It wasn’t fulfilling for me and put excess stress on myself and my family. Founder of VaynerMedia, Gary Vaynerchuk, said it best, “When you chase money, you’re going to lose. You’re just going to. Even if you get the money, you’re not going to be happy.”
If you consistently aim to use your passion and skills to make a positive impact on others, you will be rewarded. A consistent morning routine like this will help you set the tone for the entire day and help you become a true leader at home and in the workplace.
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About the Author Gordon Shuford is the Director of Leadership Development at LearnLoft, a full-service organizational health company which exists to turn managers into leaders and create healthier places to work. Gordon has a background in corporate wellness and coaching.