Elites are morning people? 4 morning practices of highly productive people
According to research published by Harvard Business Review (HBR) run by Harvard University, “The early bird tends to get the worm”. It seems that the reason is that there are a lot of “proactive” students who actively start the day with positive thinking.
Are you a morning person on the elite track?
According to biologist Christoph Randler’s survey in 2010 at HBR, among 367 university students who participated in the study, many engage in positive thinking, for example, “spending time identifying long-term goals” and “having the confidence to make things happen“ first thing in the morning.
Such a proactive attitude may have a positive effect on their performance in work and study. Morning people have linked this trait to achieving good results in school, and a higher probability of finding employment in good companies, greater career success, and higher wages. They use this time to anticipate problems and try to minimize them (Harvard Business Review, July 2010).
Advantages and disadvantages of being a night owl
Indeed, there are many famous and successful night owls such as Apple CEO Tim Cook, Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson, and the US President Donald Trump.
A number of studies have been made on the relationship between the time you wake up and productivity, suggesting that “evening people tend to suffer from a lack of sleep”. Dr Kristen Knutson from the Northwestern University of Neurology in the US and Prof. Malcolm von Schantz of Chronobiology from the University of Surrey in the UK examined the link between one’s lifestyle and related health problems. They observed over 430,000 participants aged between 38 to 73 years old over the course of 6 and a half years. The study found that night owls had a higher risk of developing psychological problems, diabetes, respiratory disease, heart disease, and other health disorders compared to morning people, showing the effects of lifestyle on health.
Another study shows that night owls are smarter, more creative, have a better sense of humour and are more outgoing. However, it may be better to switch to the early mornings if you want to get onto the elite track.
4 things that a highly productive person will do in the morning
Let’s look at the 4 things that a highly productive person will do in the morning, that even night owls can easily practice.
1. Divide the day into two equal parts
The founder and creative director of the businessperson information site Men’s Style Pro, Sabir Peele, achieves efficiency by dividing his day into two, morning and afternoon, in order to maintain his productivity.
He lists up to 10 tasks to perform in the morning, starting off with the most important task so you won’t get bored. After completing two tasks, he will refresh himself with 20 press ups. In the afternoon, he is devoted to time-consuming tasks, such as meetings and content creation.
2. Arrive at work 30mins earlier
Instead of rushing the start of your day, arrive with plenty of time to prepare for work in advance, and your efficiency will improve.
Paediatrician Megan Brooks arrives at the hospital where she works at least 30 minutes before her official start time. She uses the time to begin examining patients, look through medical records and report results to patient’s parents. Meanwhile, she enjoys a chat with colleagues over coffee, signs school documents and performs other non-work related tasks.
By doing this, you can focus on your work without indulging in miscellaneous tasks, and you can use your break time to refresh yourself.
3. Three minutes of “Me Time”
Take “Me Time” every morning for 3 minutes. During those 3 minutes, do not feel stress, don’t think of anything, and spend it in a daze. It does not matter whether it is a small contemplation or just looking out of the window.
Rachel Bowie, a senior editor based in New York has a very busy schedule in her everyday life. She will count from 1 to 180 in the shower every morning. In these three minutes, she is “just being there” with nothing in her head.
“This is a ridiculous routine, but thanks to those 3 minutes, my concentration will remain strong the whole day”, she said. It can’t hurt to try it.
4. Doing exercise (Move your body)
Cook CEO and Brown CEO, two super early risers, get to work after sweating from exercising in the gym, playing tennis or swimming. Brown CEO says “it contributes significantly to the improvement of productivity” (CNBC, April 11 2017).
It has been pointed out that exercising within the first three hours of waking “may cause heart attacks”. However, researchers currently don’t have enough evidence to substantiate this (outsideonline.com, December 10 2013).
Walking and yoga, which are not vigorous exercise, are ideal as you can move the body without putting a burden on the heart. It also will be a chance to refresh the mind and body without any worry about exhaustion before work. If you do not have time in the morning, try to walk to the office if it is a relatively short distance. Or get off one station before your usual destination and walk the last stretch. Use your commute wisely to get some exercise.
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