Apple CEO Tim Cook and former First Lady Michelle Obama have one thing in common: they both wake up before 6:30AM. Their early start enables them to workout, brainstorm new business ideas, and plan the rest of their day before the average American has even woken up.
We’ve compiled a list of the six most important habits successful “early-risers” use to accomplish more before the sun rises.
Use a relaxing alarm.
Looking to feel the motivation to get out of bed instead of hitting the snooze button? Try scheduling in your favorite tune or song to wake up, not the standard annoying beep, and you’ll find you’re more motivated to face the day.
You’ve been lying still for 6-8 hours, your body will need a little bit of time to catch up with the rest of you. Stretching can also counteract the negative effects on your body from sitting at a desk all day.
Sweat it out.
Short, intense periods of exercise are enough to kick start your metabolism and lead you to burn more fat all day long. Seven minutes is short enough that you don’t need to take extra time in the morning but long enough to wake you up.
Start your day with green and protein.
The common grab and go breakfast includes granola bars, toasts, bagels, or oatmeal, all grains and dairy. Skip the bar and go for something greed and filled with protein, like scrambled eggs and steamed spinach or hard-boiled eggs and avocado. You’ll find that you have more energy leading up until lunch, you might even avoid the mid-morning coffee slump.
Set 2-3 goals, something you know you can accomplish today.
To-do lists are helpful to provide your day with direction but they can quickly turn into an insurmountable pile of tasks and you don’t know where to start. The morning hours are the best time to set your list for the day, surrounded by the least amount of distractions. Keep your priority list short by focusing on two or three things that you would like to accomplish today that will make this day a success.
Studies show that you don’t need to drastically change your schedule to see improvements to your workday and beyond. Small adjustments, like waking up 15 minutes earlier, can have a large impact on your day and enable you to get more done, live more in the moment, or start your day on a calmer note.