Developing the ideal daily routine in today’s fast-paced world has become just as sought after as a pair of designer shoes, a toned body, or the perfect Instagram feed. With the constant emphasis on increasing productivity and leading an inspiring lifestyle, the rise of this ‘daily grind’ culture has only contributed further to this obsession.
With that said, reliable daily routines go far beyond a mere ‘trend’ or ‘fad’. In fact, almost all the high performers follow a set ideal daily routine for professionals. So, if you’re looking to transform your day, boost your productivity, and accomplish more, you need to establish key habits to get you there.
Here are 5 daily routines of successful people.
No.1 Waking up early
The way you wake up inevitably sets the tone for the entire day, and you do not want to feel pressure first thing in the morning. Instead, set your alarm for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes before you have to leave the house and enjoy the calm and serenity of your morning.
The snooze button is NOT an option! Moreover, you don’t want to fail your first task of the day. According to a study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes 66 days, on average, to form a habit.
Thirty minutes of extra sleep is not going to drastically change things. If anything, when you wake up late, you’re rushing all over the house to find things that you end up forgetting half the stuff, and on top of that you wind up feeling stressed and anxious. So be consistent, push through for the first 10 weeks, and waking up early will become of second nature for you.
No.2 Practicing mindfulness
So, you powered through and managed to get out of bed, now what? Start by waking your body and mind, get a glass of water, open your windows, and let the fresh air in. Take a deep breath, sit down, and meditate on what you want to accomplish. If you’re usually not a morning person, you’re gonna feel groggy and a bit unmotivated. That’s completely normal, but do not dwell on that negative energy. Shift your focus towards the bigger picture, think about what drives you to get out of bed every morning.
Ariana Huffington, co-founder, and editor in chief of the Huffington Post, says:
“A big part of my morning ritual is about what I don’t do: When I wake up, I don’t start the day by looking at my smartphone. Instead, once I’m awake, I take a minute to breathe deeply, be grateful, and set my intention for the day.”
No.3 Getting some exercise
Exercise is the best way to kickstart your day after mindfulness and meditation. Almost every successful person has some form of exercise regimen as part of their daily routine. From Michelle Obama and CNN Digital Correspondent Rachel Crane to Co-founder of Cushnie et Ochs Carlie Cushnie and GAP Global Executive Ellen Ahlbom. These inspiring women swear by the positive power of exercise and how transformative it can be. Payal Kadakia, CEO, and founder of ClassPass states:
“The next most important thing is my workout — I love going for a 30-minute run in the a.m., which helps me wake up as well as plan out my day. If I'm strapped on time, I do a 10-minute core workout in my room, instead. (I always have my yoga mat and weights laid out.)”
Rachel Crane also starts her morning with a workout:
“By 6:40, I have my gym clothes on and I’m en route to some kind of high-energy exercise class. My brain craves the clarity the endorphin rush facilitates.”
No. 4 Making a meticulous daily task inventory
Get a cup of coffee or tea, get your calendar/journal out, and start writing down the most important tasks to accomplish for the day. You will find this practice most rewarding because when you think of your goals, it could also inspire some ideas about how you can achieve them, which will make it easier to deal with, later on.
This also helps you remember everything you have to get done, as organizing your assignments will give you a sense of order and clarity. You won’t feel overwhelmed by how much work you have if you break it down into smaller, and by extension, more achievable objectives.
No.5 Doing less to achieve more
When you’re juggling a million tasks, it’s hard to stay focused and accomplish what you’re set out to do. A major aspect to consider is trying the Marie Forleo -entrepreneur, life coach, and author- “simplify to amplify” philosophy.
Productivity is a major issue for a lot of people especially when your attention is scattered across multiple projects that it seems like it’s impossible to get things done. Instead, focus on one big task you want to achieve that day to help you work towards larger goals.
Start by eliminating all distractions (or at least those you have control over), then set a defined time window, and don’t jump to the next task unless you’ve completed the one at hand.
Just keep in mind that you don’t need to incorporate a million things into your daily routine. Start small, keep track of your goals, and expand from there. When you think “this time it will be different”, you go hard for the first couple of days then you feel burned out and tired.
Instead, start by implementing a few things into your day, and once you’ve established a good routine, you can experiment and add more things to see how that makes you feel.
Try not to lose focus, stay on track, and hold yourself accountable at all times.