My morning routine is so firmly ingrained in my being that if I were to – gasp – take a vacation, I’m painfully aware of the need for a few days to deprogram before I start to actually enjoy any of that rest and relaxation stuff I’ve been hearing about.
Vacations are great, but success means you get to live the lifestyle you dream of, not run away to it a few times a year.
So, without further adieu, here are the 5 things that exist on the morning to-do list of every successful person I know.
When I say prioritize, you’re probably imaging a to-do list. You’re not entirely wrong, but the truth is that my to-do list looks a lot less like a prioritized list of what I need to get done, and more a like streaming consciousness of tasks.
So how do I do it?
I don’t. I learned years ago that attempting to tackle all of the items on a to-do list is a fruitless task. You see, the thing about to-do lists is: once you finish the tasks they contain, they have a weird way of filling up again.
So instead of worrying about what I can’t get done, I prioritize what should be done. In this way I’ve come to embrace the fact that my list will never be empty, but I also know that if it was important enough to finish, I would have placed it appropriately at or near the top of the list.
Invest In Themselves
Investing in you could mean any number of things:
- Taking an online course at Udemy or Coursera
- Learning a new language
- Reading a book that makes you a better leader
- Hitting the gym for that early morning workout session
The successful understand that being “good enough” isn’t really an option; because once you stop you begin to lose ground to your competitors.
Think Big Picture, Not Small Fire
The one area where I see otherwise successful people fail most often is in utilizing their time wisely. That’s not to say they’re wasting time, but they certainly aren’t maximizing their own worth.
Let others put out small fires, or deal with the menial task that are costing you more in time than you’re recouping in progress (or cash). Your job is to look at your business – or your life – from a top-down view. Your job is to extinguish sparks before they become fires, not put them out when they occur.
When I say, “reach out,” I don’t mean networking. The morning is a time to make introductions, appointments for coffee, or to send that word of praise to the person you admire. Networking events are a whole different animal.
Reaching out is about taking the bull by the horns, finding one interesting person a day (or more) and setting up a time to meet, have coffee, or just send a random email praising them on a job well done.
Contacts are everything, and conversing with successful people often spurs innovation in your own life, or business.
Delete your Facebook account. Seriously. When I deleted Facebook, I was amazed at:
- How little I missed it.
- How much time I actually spent there.
How many successful people do you know that are posting HDR landscape photos with bolded Helvetica and inspirational quotes? Seriously, how many?
Right. I thought so.
I don’t want to dilute the message; Facebook is a generality. The same applies to all distractions online and off. Find your number one time killer and then, well, kill it.
Speaking in generalities will rarely bring you success, and I don’t expect that a “Top 5” list is going to be life changing. Instead, I hope that I can plant a seed in each of you that successful people share common traits, and a solid morning routine is amongst the top on all of their lists.
Make your morning count.