Your morning may go something like this. You overslept because you stayed up too late and now you rush to get out the door. You throw on the first thing you grab, and you don’t have time for breakfast. Your focus is on just getting to work with little thought of what you need to do once you get there. Traffic is bad, and you are already running late, so you get frustrated or angry. You arrive at work tired, irritable and unprepared for what the workday holds. Sound familiar?
In her book “What Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast”  Laura Vanderkam refers to this as the “The Madness of Mornings.” Vanderkam looked at successful people and found nearly all of them have something in common. They start their days early after a good nights sleep. They have developed rituals which have them prepared to take on the world before they even eat breakfast.
Wake Up Early
“In a poll of 20 executives cited by Vanderkam, 90% said they wake up before 6 a.m. on weekdays. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, for example, wakes at 4 a.m. and is in the office no later than 7 a.m. Meanwhile, Disney CEO Bob Iger gets up at 4:30 to read, and Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is up at 5:30 to jog.” 
Have you ever said I wish there were two more hours in the day? There are if you are willing to make a lifestyle change. If you normally wake up at 7 a.m. start waking up at 5 a.m. Use these extra two hours to improve your health, reconnect with your family, and spend time in peace planning your day. Studies show people who wake up early are happier and more proactive in work and life.
An early rise removes the stress related to getting up later and rushing to work. You arrive refreshed and have a jump on the day’s work before you walk in the door. If you aren’t a morning person, let me suggest the Phillips Sunrise Lamp. Set the lamp for the time you want to wake up. It will gradually brighten the room starting before you want to be awake. With this, it gently triggers your brain that it is time to get up without the blast of an alarm. It is a much better way to start your day!
Your Brain’s Morning Stretch
There is no question that physical exercise early in your day will help keep you healthy and lead to a more positive day. It’s important to exercising both your body and your mind each morning. Morning exercise for your brain doesn’t have to be work-related. In fact, you may find you perform better at work when you allow your morning routine to focus on your personal development. Morning meditation helps bring you to a positive place to start your day.
Successful people are avid readers and early morning is the perfect time to read and research. It’s a good time to respond to people and events, getting a head start on those in your time zone. In the early morning, your mind is not yet cluttered with the business of the day. This openness will free your mind to think, innovate, flex your creative muscle. Grab your to-do list or your journal. Brainstorm on new ideas and expand and on old ones.
Find the right mix of personal and work in your morning routine. The goal is not to start your workday early. It is to prepare yourself to excel at your work and in life.
Review Your Tomorrow List
A powerful tool in preparing for your day is to review your “tomorrow list.” At the end of each day write down tasks you need to complete tomorrow. Include work and personal responsibilities. Part of your morning routine should be to look at this list early giving yourself time to plan out your day mentally.
At the end of your day, write down the tasks you need to complete tomorrow. Look at the list when you start the next day. End your day by creating another list for tomorrow.
- Wake up early
- Spend quality time with family
- Connect with their spouses
- Plan strategies while they are fresh
- Read and research in their field
Just Do It:
- Challenge yourself to get up two hours earlier each weekday
- Carry this habit to the weekend and gain the same advantage
Successful people are not born that way. They make changes to their life to maximize their potential for success. Developing an early morning routine won’t guarantee success, but it will give you more time to prepare for it.
 Vanderkam, Laura. What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home, 2013.
 Goudreau, Jenna. “12 Things Successful People Do Before Breakfast | Slideshow.” Entrepreneur, January 27, 2014. http://www.entrepreneur.com/slideshow/231037.