We've all seen the articles about what highly successful famous people do first thing in the morning. I've always wondered why I'm so intrigued by those celebrity articles. Despite my desire to actually not read them, I click anyway. I guess I'm just a sucker for what Oprah Winfrey or Steve Jobs do as part of their morning rituals despite the fact that I don't even like Steve Jobs or likely have very much in common with Oprah Winfrey (even though I do like her).
In the spirit of the good habits of the many successful people all around us every day who aren't being covered by CNN, Good Morning America, or People Magazine, here are the best "first thing in the morning" activities of highly successful people you've never heard of.
Specifically, here are the morning rituals of the best boss I ever had and my biggest career mentors. Their names might as well be John or Jane Doe as far as media coverage goes, but it might be the simple and easily overlooked things they do that deserve the coverage.
1. Drink a big glass of water
This may sound about as simple and potentially insignificant as it gets. But water first thing in the morning has been shown to have some incredible value - including getting your metabolism going, flushing out toxins, fueling your brain, and even making you eat less (if you're into that kind of thing). Not the least of the benefits is that it actually wakes you up, which can be a nice alternative to relying on caffeine to do that job.
I always wondered how my boss was so energetic first thing at work despite never visiting the coffee machine or bringing in a massive jug of Pepsi (something another one of my boss's used to do). I guess it was just the water.
2. Just think
Many of us find ourselves in back to back meetings or events almost all day long in our jobs and even beyond our jobs. Because of that, many of us have a hard time finding that all important "think time" where we can contemplate bigger issues or strategic things. Despite the fact that we know it is really important, we just don't seem to be able to make time for it.
One of the most successful career mentors I have told me that he does his thinking first thing in the morning every day without fail. He formally blocks the time on his calendar and doesn't ever override it. Sometimes he thinks about strategic business issues he's dealing with in his job. Sometimes, he admits, he just finds himself thinking about new ideas or concepts he won't have time to contemplate at any other point in the day.
By doing it first, his mind is fresh and he hasn't yet been tired out by the events of the day. Maybe more importantly, it guarantees at least a little time to just think and strategize.
If you're like me, gym time (or any workout) is important to you. It's not about trying to be a professional athlete (despite my delusions of grandeur when I played High School basketball) as much as it is about maintaining good health and even doing a little mental detox. And sometimes, it's just about doing something for thirty minutes that's just for you. When our lives get really busy, sometimes it is easy to make yourself the odd person out of your own life and inadvertently become imbalanced.
Going to the gym or a run first thing in the morning may seem like a bit of a harsh wakeup call for some of us, but not only does it give you a nice endorphin boost when you're done but it also ensures you get your workout time in before the day gets rolling with all of it's unpredictability both on the work and life fronts.
Maybe even more interesting than what these very successful but not famous people do first thing in the morning is what they don't do. None of them jump right onto their computers or check their e-mails from their phone first thing in the morning. And none of them check in on social media.