How you wake up in the morning could make or break your day. In a new LinkedIn post, psychologist Dr. Travis Bradberry, a coauthor of "Emotional Intelligence 2.0" and president of TalentSmart, has revealed the eight things he believes successful people do before 8 a.m.
Here we go.
1. Drink lemon water
“Drinking lemon water as soon as you wake up spikes your energy levels physically and mentally,” Bradberry wrote. “By improving nutrient absorption in your stomach, it gives you a steady, natural energy buzz that lasts the length of the day.”
Does lemon actually boost mineral absorption? According to Dr. Mike Roussell, a nutritional consultant at Shape, it could due to its high levels of Vitamin C, but so would any food with Vitamin C like kale or bell peppers.
The more important component here appears to be the water, which many successful people like NextDesk Director Dan Lee start their morning by drinking.
But unless your stomach lining is sensitive to citrus fruits, a squeeze of a lemon certainly couldn’t hurt.
Exercise in general is healthy for you, and getting it out of the way in the morning is a smart way to start the day.
“A study conducted at the Eastern Ontario Research Institute found that people who exercised twice a week for 10 weeks felt more competent socially, academically, and athletically," Bradberry wrote. "A second study conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol found that people who exercised daily had more energy and a more positive outlook, which are both critical for getting things done.”
There are lots of benefits to exercise and famous CEOs who also work out in the morning include Disney's Bob Iger, Virgin Group 's Richard Branson, and Apple's Tim Cook.
"When you wake up and dive straight into e-mails, texts, and Facebook, you are far more likely to lose focus, and your morning succumbs to the wants and needs of other people,” Bradberry wrote.
Instead, read a book like AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, meditate like the CEO of Twitter and Square Jack Dorsey, or spend time with your family and pets like director of NextDesk Dan Lee.
4. Eat a healthy breakfast
Eating a well-balanced breakfast will not only help you stay focused, but also improve your waistline since you’ll most likely eat less throughout the day.
“People who eat breakfast are less likely to be obese, they have more stable blood-sugar levels, and they tend to be less hungry over the course of the day,” Bradberry wrote.
Not sure what to eat? Here are some healthy ideas.
RelaxingMusic / Flickr
Bradberry said practicing “mindfulness meditation” can be good for your productivity and stress levels.
According to Harvard neuroscientist Sara Lazar, it can also increase gray matter concentration in areas of the brain, which can lead to less stress and more awareness of both yourself and outside forces.
CEO of Twitter and Square Jack Dorsey meditates every morning at 5 a.m. — maybe you should, too.
6. Set goals for the day
Benjamin Franklin was obsessive about planning his days,” Bradberry wrote. “When you plan out your day as carefully as possible, your chances of successfully accomplishing your goals skyrocket.”
Science supports this. Checking off goals is a mini reward and can help you be more productive, according to Kelly McGonigal, a psychologist at Stanford University.
7. But make sure your goals are realistic
Look no further than studies on New Year’s resolutions to find that we all have a really hard time keeping lofty goals.
Being realistic about your daily goals will help you feel more accomplished and get more done, according to Psychologist Peter Herman, because you won’t be setting yourself up for “false hope syndrome.”
“There’s no point in setting goals if they aren’t realistic,” Bradberry wrote on LinkedIn. “Take the time to ensure that your schedule for the day is doable by assigning times to your to-do list. A good rule of thumb is to make your day as top heavy as possible.”
8. Say "no"
“No is a powerful word, which will protect your precious mornings,” Bradberry wrote, adding that you’ll be less likely to “experience stress, burnout, and even depression.”
Science may support this — researchers at the University of Californina in San Francisco found you’ll be less stressed and less depressed if you say no and don’t over-commit yourself.