morning routine

Sometimes, beginning your day can require a little motivation. These tricks from successful people can keep you focused at work all day long.

Highly successful people have some pretty epic morning routines, involving everything from immediately checking their email after rolling out of bed to getting up at 4 a.m. to running a morning 5K. It's enough to make us slackers who roll out of bed at 8 a.m. feel like complete failures, and that's before they get to work making billions. We can always attempt to make our mornings more successful, though. If you're like me and not a morning person, it might be time to try out some of these techniques.

  • Get up early (or just earlier): Very successful people get up sometime between 4 and 6 a.m. There's a long list of successful people who wake up in this time frame, including the CEOs of Apple (Tim Cook), Disney (Bob Iger), Starbucks (Howard Schultz), General Motors (Mary Barra), and GE (Jeff Immelt). Do you think they might be on to something here? A lot of them wake up earlier so they have time to do the other things on this list. Don't shift your routine around abruptly, though. Try to push back the time you wake up by about 15 minutes per day until you're at a more reasonable time.
  • Rather than getting caffeinated right away, drink water: Your body gets dehydrated while you sleep. Don't do what most adults do and reach for coffee first. When you get up, drink some water. Focus Brands president Kat Cole told Business Insider that she drinks at least 24 ounces of water during her daily routine.
  • Meditate: For some, this means yoga. For others, it might mean a walk through the woods. For billionaire John Paul DeJoria, it means just lying in bed an extra five minutes and attempting to be "present" and grateful. In almost every iteration of meditation, the focus is on gratitude.
  • Exercise: We can't all be Jack Dorsey and go for a six-mile jog every day. President Barack Obama only plays basketball for 45 minutes before he starts his day. On the other hand, Frits van Paaschen, CEO of Starwood Hotels, gets out there for ten miles every day. Bill Gates might spend an hour on the treadmill (what a slacker). Successful people tend to have a morning fitness routine.
  • Eat breakfast (no, really): A high-protein breakfast is good for everyone, whether you're a billionaire or not. This can also help you lose weight in the long run. Many of these early starters swear by a high-protein breakfast smoothie.
  • Read: Successful people still love to read the newspaper. David Cush, the CEO of Virgin America, supposedly reads five newspapers every day.
  • Try face-to-face communication: Steve Jobs was emphatic about filtering out distractions and establishing focus during his mornings, and one of his strategies was to host in-person meetings. Looking people in the eye was very important to him on Monday mornings. Other successful people insist that quality time with family is a substantive part of their a.m. routine.
  • Start with the worst tasks first: Your willpower is likely highest in the morning. Brian Tracy's book Eat That Frog insists that successful people start with the most difficult task at hand first and then move on to other, more pleasant projects.
  • Stick to a routine: In a lot of cases, no matter what the routine is, consistency tends to be an important theme. Some people's routines have been the same for decades. Try to find your best routine and keep a constant theme going.