Mornings are, of course, an essential time of day. They are your first hours after a night of rest and rejuvenation. Every morning, I wake--admittedly, some days with more difficulty than others--and have a few moments to quietly blink myself awake before being bombarded with thoughts about what I'll have to do in the coming day. Even though we all spend our mornings differently, there are three small things each one of us can do to become more successful each and every day.
1. Pick one difficult task to complete before anything else
The idea comes from the Mark Twain quote "Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day." In other words, if you accomplish one, incredibly arduous first thing in the morning, everything after that will feel easy. Getting something tedious--and usually important--out of the way in the first hour of the day is a great way to feel accomplished and prevent the task from hanging over your head the remainder of the day.
2. Don't check your email
If you're not working in a profession where you have to be on call 24/7, there's no reason to start working before you have to. Put off responding to messages that are not urgent. Why stress in an environment that has the potential to be calm? David Karp, founder of Tumblr, mentioned in an Inc. profile that he makes an effort not to read emails at home. Having a miniature computer with you at all times in the form of your smartphone sure does make it hard to feel comfortable being out of reach for even a moment--but your temporary silence can only make it feel that much more rewarding when you do respond back.
3. Find something that makes you happy, and do it--every day.
It can be as simple as making a cup of coffee, 10 minutes of meditation, or wearing a certain article of clothing. The action itself is insignificant. What matters is that you develop a habit of finding a small joy in your first waking minutes. For example, whenever I struggle to wake up, I look forward to the cup of coffee I'll brew for myself. It takes six minutes--at most--and feels like enough reason to look forward to the day, leaving me in a pleasant mood for the rest of my morning.