Your morning sets the tone for your entire day, says Fast Company contributor Stephanie Vozza. So she asked eight productivity experts to reveal their morning routines to inspire others to be more productive and start their day off on a good note. Here are a couple standout answers:
Unless he’s catching a plane, the professional organizer and author of Unstuff Your Life Andrew Mellen doesn’t like to set an alarm clock. Instead, he wakes up when he wakes up–-usually by 7 a.m. "The first thing I do is meditate for five to 10 minutes," he says. Mellen says as a morning person, he tries to do high-value activities first. "Those are focused on revenue or outstanding projects," he says. "I like to do writing in the morning before there are too many demands on my attention."
Kevin Kruse, author of 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, used to focus his mornings around long-term goal setting, but that’s changed. "I've found that starting each day with a simple routine ensures I'll ‘win the day,’ and if you win most of your days the years will take care of themselves," he says. For Kruse, the day starts with his one-sentence personal purpose statement, which he says keeps him on track and gives meaning to his life. Then he thinks of at least three specific things he’s grateful for. "This gratitude practice improves my happiness and really eliminates the minor annoyances and stressors that would otherwise take hold," he says. Next, Kruse sets daily intentions around the three domains for a happy life: health, wealth, and relationships. For each one, he thinks about why it’s important and what he’s going to do that day to work toward it.
The most important part of Jocelyn K. Glei’s morning routine actually happens the night before: making tomorrow’s to-do list. "If I start the workday with a clear picture of my key priorities, I am infinitely more productive—not to mention more relaxed," says the author of Unsubscribe: How to Kill Email Anxiety, Avoid Distractions, and Get Real Work Done. "Kicking off the day without a plan opens you up to the dangers of ‘reactive work,’ letting other people’s demands dictate what you do with your day."