Start Smart: 3 Steps Every Successful Executive Takes In the Morning

Morning Ritual

I admit it. I am not a morning person. I don’t bounce from the bed ready to stare down monsters, nor spring forward at 5 a.m. extolling the virtues of sunrise as I prep for work.

I am steeped in “early bird catches the worm” rhetoric that I know many researchers tell us humans do our best work in the mornings. I rejoiced though when I read in a Harvard Review article were they acknowledged that evening people tend to be smarter, more creative and have a better sense of humor than the early risers. Take that you morning people!

Even armed with that information, as a business owner and busy Executive Coach, I can’t just skip mornings and neither can you.

The Morning Ritual

So, here’s what it takes to maximize your productivity and happiness in the morning: a ritual.

A morning ritual is a series of routines or habits that happen each morning in roughly the same way and same order day after day. The purpose of a morning ritual is to provide efficiency, predictability, certainty and pleasure to the day. After listening to my clients talk about their morning rituals and what works for them, I’m convinced a winning morning ritual has these 3 parts:

Wake Up – how you wake and when

Spool Up – how you gather yourself to meet the day

Show Up – how you dress and arrive for your work day

The magic of the morning ritual happens when these 3 routines are customized by you for you.

My Elegant Wake Up Program

I call my own ritual “My Elegant Wake Up Program.” I started my elegant wake up years ago with my first visit to The Golden Door, a residential spa resort in California. I learned there that I don’t like to leap from my bed, though I’d done it for years. I’m happier if I have my juice and coffee while still in my pajamas in bed, though I’d slurped them both in the car on the way to work for years.

I spool up to the day, and it’s better if I have 30-60 minutes to read the paper, triage my email, talk to my husband and then get dressed. I’d also done the exact opposite of that for years. My morning ritual ends when I show up to see clients and staff.

Your morning rituals may involve leaping from bed, running for 5 miles, reading your Bible or cuddling the kids. Everyone deserves a morning ritual that suits them perfectly.

By the way, unsure whether you are a morning person or not? Look here for a simple quiz. And if you’r not a morning person, take heart! You too can still be a highly creative, successful person with the right routine.


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