Business Leaders Can Sharpen Their Focus with These 5 Morning Habits

High-performing business leaders must be resilient and focused to keep up with the tremendous demands placed upon them. Delve into the habits of successful people throughout history and you’ll find many of them have something in common: a consistent morning routine. If you sometimes struggle to keep pace with your daily challenges, a solid morning routine can do wonders for your productivity, creativity, clarity, and physical and mental health. Best of all, it doesn’t have to take much time out of your busy schedule. Below are several suggestions for building your own routine.

Set a Wake-Up Time
Make a point of getting up at the same time each day. If you need more sleep, go to bed earlier rather than sleeping in. Not only will it help you maintain your morning routine, but it will also prevent your sleep cycle from being thrown off. A full night’s sleep is one of the most important elements in managing a demanding lifestyle. Get an early start each day to maximise your productivity.

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Nourish Your Body
Drink a full glass of water immediately after getting up. Your body becomes dehydrated overnight, and replenishing it with water will flush out toxins, boost your metabolism, and help your body and mind function. Breakfast also helps to kick-start your metabolism and get your body and mind ready for the day’s challenges. Protein and slow-burning carbohydrates (like oatmeal and bran cereal) will make you feel full longer and maintain focus better than other foods. Avoid sugary foods; these will make your insulin spike, then crash, and you’ll feel lethargic and groggy throughout the day. Some good, quick and easy breakfast options include eggs, oatmeal, yoghurt, and cottage cheese.

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Prepare Your Mind
Mindfulness meditation practices have been getting a lot of attention lately for their ability to improve mood, concentration, productivity, creativity, and mental clarity, while also decreasing stress and anxiety. This does not require a significant investment of time–as little as 10 minutes each day can be enough to make a noticeable difference. Set aside a few moments in your morning routine to ground yourself and reconnect with your body. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll even be able to quickly re-ground yourself during the day, should things get too stressful.

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Get Your Blood Flowing
An exercise routine–even a short one–can improve your energy levels throughout the day, decrease stress, help you sleep better, and enhance your metabolism. Morning is the best time to exercise because it’s when your testosterone levels are at their peak and because the effects of your workout will be felt throughout the day. Staying fit doesn’t just keep you productive in the short-term, it also helps your immune system, so you’ll be less likely to have unplanned downtime in the future.

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Plan Your Day
Take a minute to write down the tasks you need to complete today. This will help you stay on track and maintain productivity. It’s generally best to take care of the most difficult or unpleasant task first–that way, it won’t be making you anxious or encouraging you to procrastinate as it looms over you. From then on, your day will look a lot brighter.

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These are basic, but essential habits for staying focused and productive. While some of them, like eating breakfast, may sound obvious, it’s remarkable how many people skip them just to save a few minutes. When you look at the benefits that these habits provide, it’s easy to see that they are well worth the small investment of time. After all, your willpower is highest in the morning, so put it to good use and reap those rewards throughout the rest of the day.