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Successful people have one thing in common, they cherish their mornings. Famous athletes, successful business people and even presidents often dedicate a lot of their success and focus to their morning routine. Everyone has their own rituals in the mornings that motivate them.
On the Shoulders of Giants – Inspired by the Great
Here are a few examples of famous and successful people with morning routines:
Barack Obama, President
Taking care of physical fitness and family are two important elements of President Obama’s daily ritual. He starts his day with a workout at 6:45 a.m., reads several newspapers, has breakfast with his family, and then starts his work day just before 9:00 a.m. in the morning. He may work as late as 10:00 p.m. some evenings, but always stops to have dinner with his family each day.
David Karp, Founder, Tumblr
At 25 years old, Karp is the founder and CEO of Tumblr, a growing microblogging platform that has reached over 26.9 million users. As demanding as his schedule is, Karp makes sure he doesn’t check his email until he gets in the office around 9:30 a.m. As quoted in Inc. Magazine, “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive. If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”
Franz Kafka, Author
Kafka started his day at his job at the Workers’ Accident Insurance Institute from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.. Afterward he would lunch until 3:30 p.m., then sleep until 7:30 p.m.. Upon waking, he would do exercises and have dinner with his family. He began writing at 11:00 p.m. in the evening, usually working until 1:00 a.m. or 2:00 a.m. in the morning–sometimes later.
Steve Reinemund, former Chairman and CEO, Pepsi
According to What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, the now business school dean does a four mile run at 5:00 a.m. every morning, followed by prayer, reading the news and breakfast with his teenage kids.
Winston Churchill, Prime Minister
While Churchill’s routine may not be for everyone, it seemed to revolve around lots of food and drink. He would rise at 7:30 a.m. and stay in bed until 11:00 a.m. where he would eat breakfast, read several newspapers, and dictate to his secretaries. When he finally got out of bed, he would bathe, take a walk outside, then settle in to work with a weak whisky and soda. Lunch began at 1:00 p.m. and lasted until 3:30 p.m., after which he would work or play cards or backgammon with his wife. At 5:00 p.m. he napped for an hour and a half, then bathed again and got ready for dinner. Dinner was considered the highlight of his day, with much socializing, drinking, and smoking that sometimes went past midnight. After his guests left, he would then work for another hour or so before heading to bed.
Michelle Gass, president, Starbucks
For over 15 years, the coffee queen has woken up each morning at 4:30 a.m. to go running. She believes her morning routine has helped boost her happiness and business success.
Steve Jobs, late Apple CEO
Jobs spent his mornings re-evaluating his work and desires. In his speech to a graduating class at Stanford, Jobs said, “For the past 33 years I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: ‘If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?’ And whenever the answer has been ‘No’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”
Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief, Vogue
The infamous fashion editor wakes up every day pre-dawn to get her adrenaline pumping. At 6:45 a.m., she’s already played an hour of tennis, then it’s off to have her hair styled into her signature bob. She’s in the office by 9:00 a.m.
Tony Robbins, self-help writer and motivational speaker
As a self-help guru, Robbins helps motivate people to become better leaders and achieve greater success. He says that the thing that changed his life was when he decided he wasn’t living up to his standard, so he changed his habits and way of thinking. His advice is to do an “Hour of Power” every morning, which includes motivational sayings and visualization.
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States
Franklin kept to a tight schedule, starting his day waking at 4:00 a.m.. Until 8:00 a.m., he would wake, wash, eat breakfast, and think about what he would accomplish for the day. From 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., he worked. Lunch was from 12:00-1:00 p.m., where he ate, read, or looked over his accounts. He then worked until 5:00 p.m.. The evening was filled with dinner, cleaning up, music or conversation, a look back over his day, and then bed at 10:00 p.m..
Jane Francisco, editor-in-chief, Chatelaine
Jane wakes up every morning at 6:30 a.m. and spends half an hour doing work before her son wakes up at 7:00 a.m. Between 7:00 a.m. and 7:30 a.m., she spends quality time with her son (cuddles in bed!) before getting him dressed and ready herself. By 8:30 a.m., she’s out the door for a 9 a.m. office start.
Craig Newmark, founder, Craigslist
The internet entrepreneur founded the classified advertisement website that has grown to service over 50 countries since 1995. According to a Fast Company article, Newmark starts his day focusing on customer service and answering complaints, which he says anchors him to reality.
Matt Ouimet, president and CEO, Cedar Fair Entertainment Company
Ouimet was president of Disneyland Resort then Starwood Hotels & Resorts before becoming CEO of the North American amusement park company. Like many CEOs, he wakes up early to get a head start at work. He’s at the office by 6:00 a.m., when it’s quiet, to answer emails.
Obie Mackenzie, managing director, BlackRock
The award-winning business executive spends 84 minutes every morning chatting with his wife on their morning commute. He says, “It keeps us connected all day.”
Ernest Hemingway, Author
Hemingway described his writing ritual as starting just as the sun began rising, then working straight through until whatever he had to say was said. He likens completing his morning of writing to making love to someone you love–being both empty and fulfilled at the same time. Upon completing that morning’s work, he would wait until the next morning to begin again, going over his ideas in his head and holding on to the anticipation of starting again the next day.