But what version of “early” is right for you?
Tim Cook (Apple CEO) and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (former wrestler turned movie star) are up and going by 4am.
Oprah is up between 6:02 and 6:20am, while Mark Zuckerberg is up by 8am.
Different times, but there are few constants. In other words, each of these highly successful individuals has a routine they’ve developed that works for them.
What’s Your Ideal Morning Routine?
For quite a while I wanted to wake up at 5am to get a jump start on the day. But I struggled with anything before 6am. On the one hand, I found it frustrating because the doer part of me wants to get more done. But the human part of me needs at least 7 hours of sleep to be functional.
With two teenagers in the house, it seems impossible for me to get to bed before 11pm, which means my earliest start is 6am. I started using the 7-hour sleep rule as a benchmark for when I get up in the morning. Now, my wake up time is typically 6-6:30am, which works.
But what works for you?
Everyone is different, and it’s more important to find a routine that powers up your morning, instead of one that makes you tired all day, or makes you feel bad about yourself because you keep snoozing.
Beyond Wake Up Time
Of course, waking up is only step one of a morning routine (albeit the most important).
What do you do next?
What I’ve experienced, and what I’ve read about time and again, is there are handful of things most successful people practice at the start of their day …
- Coffee: for me, it’s more of a ritual than it is for a caffeine boost
- Meditation: this comes in many shapes and forms. If the mere mention of the word has you feeling turned off, it might be beneficial to check out some different forms of meditation to see if there’s something out there that works for you (that you don’t dread). Here are a few options to check out if meditation is new to you (or you’re looking for something new):
- The Mindfulness App has lots of meditations based on mindfulness meditation.
- Environments is a fantastic app that’s full of hours of environmental sound. These are actually real-world recordings, from the 1960s and 70s, by Irv Teibelon. I use them as part of my meditation routine, and also play them throughout the work day to remain grounded and focused.
- Enso is a meditation “timer” that plays sounds like relaxing bells and singing bowls. These sounds can be programmed to your liking, and it works very well with simple breathing meditation.
- Exercise* (which can also be a form of meditation): walk, run, lift weights … whatever … find what works for you and do it. This will not only help power up your morning routine, it will help power up your day AND keep you healthy.
- If you don’t want to leave the house to exercise, you can try an app like Carrot Fit. It’s a 7-minute workout type of app where you get in a lot of exercise in very little time. The app talks to you (it can be kind of snarky). Luckily you can turn the snakiness off if it bugs you — but the app is great for people who don’t want to exercise for along period of time, but still want positive results.
- *As with any exercise routine, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor before getting started.
I hope these ideas help you power up your morning routine!
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