One recent blog that caught my attention was The Morning Rituals Of 15 Highly Successful Small Business Owners.
Owning a business can require a greater level of discipline than merely turning up for work, and when you are the top person within your organisation you’re the only one left to make sure everything has been done. So, as a small business owner myself (and not yet confident that I fall into the “highly successful” bracket!), I was curious as to what other business owners were doing every morning to set them on the right track for the day.
Interestingly, despite the huge variety in age, business type and lifestyle of these highly successful business owners, the vast majority of them started their morning with some form of exercise. It’s well documented that exercise helps to clear your mind, energize your body and keep you healthy, but why is it such a big part of all these business owners’ days?
Speaking from my own experience, exercising in the morning gets me up and out of the house. If I exercise in the morning before work then it’s over and done with and by 10am I’ll have forgotten that I’ve even done it (apart from the sore limbs!) and it means that I don’t need to think about when else to fit it into my day. I find that since I’ve committed to exercising in the morning I’ve stuck to the routine of working out much more strictly, whether I use a DVD at home, go for a run or go to the gym.
Other than seeing a great improvement in my own fitness, adding exercise to my own morning routine has helped me give a stricter timetable to my day. When I’m not out seeing clients I work from home. This means that while I might have a few days a week out on the road, the chances are that I spend most of my week in the house. For me, exercising in the morning means that I have a huge task done before 9am, and as a non business related task it’s something that I would feel bad about doing during the recognised working hours of 9-5. Like many people after a full day of work I can think of 1001 excuses not to go and work out after hours but first thing in the morning I can roll out of bed and to the gym before I’m even fully awake, and by the time I get to my desk an hour later I’ll have had time to settle into my day already.
So why is it that so many successful business owners have found this to be a good way to start their day too? I guess that having an hour or so set aside just for yourself first thing in the morning gives you some all important “me” time. It’s time when you’re committed to doing something for yourself, at a time when your team won’t necessarily find it appropriate to bombard you with work related trivia, before you get bogged down with the stresses of the day. No matter how busy you are, few people expect a business response before 9am, whereas in the evening I regularly send and receive emails as late as 10pm.
It’s also worth noting that exercise isn’t for everyone, even the highly successful. What all the highly successful people have in common is a regular routine. Whether you choose to start your day with exercise or not, starting each day with a plan of attack and sticking to it seems to be a recognised formula for business success, after all, those to do lists don’t write themselves and they certainly don’t do themselves.
What is your strategy for a successful start to the day?