All peak performers in business and sports have a morning routine. I’m a mom of two daughters and I run three businesses. So for me — as of course for every entrepreneur — every minute counts. A morning routine is vital to keeping you on track for the rest of the day, and it sets the tone for a less stressed, more focused and productive workday. Here are my top tips for winning the day early based on my own morning routine.
1. Get up at the same time every day.
I’m an early riser — my alarm goes off at 4:45 a.m. — even on weekends. Because of that, getting a good night’s sleep is the first step to ensuring a productive next day.
2. Immediate wins like making the bed are key.
The first thing I do is make my bed. That quick accomplishment is an immediate win and kicks it all off for me. I don’t check my phone until I make my bed, work out and set my intentions for the day.
3. Write a list of goals to accomplish that day.
I hand-write these goals on a master to-do list and put a time next to each one. This gives me a full picture of the day and allows me to prioritize so I can make it to things like my daughters’ sports events.
4. Make your runs work for you.
I get to the gym by 5 a.m. and exercise for an hour. While I’m running, I use that time to think about creative ideas. The lack of distractions is a great time to tap into that part of my brain. Then, typically, I get home after an hour and get showered, so I’m ready by 7 a.m. I know exactly what I am wearing that day, so I don’t waste time picking out clothes. For me, feeling put together, in addition to having an organized home and workspace, is integral to having a productive day.
5. Schedule the first appointment — or flight.
Whether it is a doctor’s appointment, flight or something else, I always schedule the first one available. Right now, I am going through IVF. This is my fourth round and there are so many doctors’ appointments. To accommodate each appointment, I shift my wake-up time even earlier in order to get it done before my workday starts. This avoids work-related delays later in the day.
Related to how I think while running, I always find ways to multitask. For instance, this morning, I went to one of my IVF appointments. While I was en route in the Uber, I updated the social media accounts for two of my companies. So, I’m writing copy, scheduling posts. I recommend you have a lot of content prepared in advance and try to map out your entire year. But you know the nature of social media. When something is trending, for instance, people making fun of the new CDC requirements, you may have to pivot and replace one of the two posts you planned or do an additional post.
7. Always think a step ahead.
As an example of thinking ahead, I always order my Uber ride while completing my last task, whether this is finishing my makeup or getting dressed at the doctor’s office. I also recommend you batch-schedule as much as possible so you can knock out all appointments and meetings that are near each other at once. If you go downtown one day, then you might go midtown the next day. For me, if my daughters have a basketball game uptown, I’ll have meetings in the area that day in order to make the transition smooth.
These tricks keep me moving quickly and ensure the most important items on my ever-growing to-do list get done efficiently. I hope these tips and examples help you be always prepared for the next thing.