Have you ever looked at people the world labels as “successful” and wonder what made them that way? Maybe you know of someone who seems to have the golden touch with everything they do. If you’re like most people, you’d love the opportunity to peer into their daily life and see how they turned thriving into a lifestyle. While there are no secret recipes for success, they all have one thing in common: they’ve developed routines for successful people.
Why Do Routines Matter for Success?
If you’re searching for some secret ingredient that makes one person more successful than another, you might be disappointed. Most people who wear the term “successful” aren’t smarter, wealthier — or at least they didn’t start out that way — or luckier than the average person.
People who fit in this category typically earn such success by developing productive habits and routines. While that might seem too simple of an answer, it genuinely does define their supposed secret. They have made certain activities a habit or part of their routine, which is what helps them set and achieve their goals. The good news is that since it isn’t a mysterious secret, you can learn these routines and habits, too.
Start Your Day Strong
Scientific studies show that most people tend to have more energy and think more clearly in the morning. Rethink your morning routine to take advantage of that early-bird genius. Tackle your most difficult or most important tasks before lunchtime.
What if you’re not a morning person? Does the principle of starting your day with the most important or most difficult task still hold true? A study conducted by scientists published in the Sleep journal showed night owls’ brains function differently than early-risers. The study used 38 participants who had their saliva tested three times a day for levels of cortisol and melatonin.
The results showed that night owls had slower reaction times early in the day. Ideally, they would have the flexibility to start their jobs in the afternoon or evening. Night owls work better later in the day, which makes life challenging for those in 9 to 5 jobs. In this case, save your most important tasks until you feel awake and ready to focus.
Plan Tomorrow’s Tasks Today!
Before you finish up for the day, make a plan that details what you want to accomplish tomorrow. Think about everything on your to-do list and determine which is a top priority.
Why take the time to do this when you’re tired and just want to be done for the day? The benefits are twofold. First, you have already defined what is most important, so now it will be in the back of your mind all evening. Even though you shouldn’t dwell on it, you may come up with some important ideas about the task because you’re not under the pressure of working.
The second benefit is having a plan for your morning when you wake up. You’ll know where to place your energy and focus, and it will take less time to fully launch into your workday.
Look in the Mirror and Have an Honest Conversation with Yourself
Steve Jobs is one successful person who followed this daily routine. He often shared how he would ask himself in the mirror if he would want to be doing what he had planned for the day if it were his last day on Earth. While that’s a pretty deep question to ask, it does point out another morning routine for success. Get your mindset right and your day will follow.
Quote a famous person or tell yourself that you’re going to have a good day. Remind yourself of a strength or positive trait to focus on for the next few hours. The idea behind these morning conversations with yourself is to mentally envision yourself as a success.
What you believe, you can achieve. Right there is a mantra you could quote to the person in the mirror or be like Benjamin Franklin who is said to have asked himself every morning, “What good shall I do today?”
Lead a Healthy Lifestyle
Successful people work hard. They may spend long hours at the office working on projects. To continue to handle the stress and not let it affect their health, they must take care of themselves physically and mentally.
Many entrepreneurs and CEOs start their day at the gym or on a morning run. They know that too often the busyness of the day will hinder any plans to exercise later, so they make time for it early in the morning.
However, not everyone likes an intense workout first thing in the morning. Maybe you’re more of a yoga person or a walk around the neighborhood sounds more appealing. Whatever physical activity wakes you up and gets your adrenaline going is what will help you feel like tackling the projects and problems of the day. Take those feel-good hormones to your department meetings or to brainstorming sessions with your co-workers.
Create a routine that allows you to work on tough tasks when you are at your best, plan ahead for your workload, and take care of yourself physically and mentally. Most importantly, believe in yourself and you’ll become one of those people you have admired from afar.
At Topic Insights, we want to help you develop the skills and mindset to achieve your own unique definition of success. If our articles inspire or educate you as you work towards your goals, let us know. Subscribe to our newsletter and never miss out on our latest tips on being successful in all areas of your life.