Morning Routines Of Successful People. Will It Work For You?

I’m fed up with hearing that the morning routines of successful people are what makes them successful.  Spoiler alert, it’s not.  There are too many variables to take into account.

Yes, we can learn about the techniques adopted by successful people and look to incorporate some of them as part of our own routine.  But to treat them as a blueprint for success is foolish.

Besides, what if their morning routines don’t work for you?  Does this mean you will not be successful?

Good Morning!  Or is it?

Are you a morning person?  Do you jump out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off?  Grab a shower and a cup of coffee – not at the same time; otherwise, you end up with watery coffee!  Have a wholesome breakfast.  Get dressed.  Head off to work ready to start your day by working diligently through the to-do list you set the night before?

No, It’s Not!

Or do you struggle to get going first thing?  Hit the snooze button several times and then need to make a strenuous dash out the door to get to work on time.  Praying that the journey to work will be stress-free, but knowing that there will be masses of traffic on the roads.  Or you will not be able to get a seat on the over-packed train.

When you arrive at work, you’re exhausted.  Ready to down your first cup of coffee and then try to figure out what the heck you’re supposed to be doing?

I know which option I would prefer.  And that would be the path of less stress (and a seat on the train!).

But I have to confess that I have experienced both types of morning wake-ups.

So how can you have a good morning experience?  Are the morning routines of successful people something to aspire to?

The Morning Routines Of Successful People

There are numerous articles on the internet that highlight what successful people do.  

  • They get up early – sometimes as early as 4.00 a.m.
    • Exercise – ranges from a full work out, to yoga or a 10-minute walk
    • Meditate
    • Eat a good breakfast – there also seems to be a trend of having some strange sounding smoothies!
    • Read
    • Listen to inspirational podcasts
    • Start on their most important task of the day

But, Will It Work For You?

Yes, we can learn from successful people.  But will their morning routine work for you?

There is no one blueprint on how to make it successful.  However, you can look to adopt some of the above suggestions and create a morning routine that fits your lifestyle and gets you off to a good start.

Let’s take each of the above components of a successful person’s morning routine and explore each segment separately.

Get Up Early

If you want to get up at 4.00 a.m., be my guest.  But, again, I prefer to have a day that is in tune with most people around me.  Because, if you get up at 4.00 a.m., you need to be in bed by 8 p.m., which reduces your social life somewhat. 

But getting up earlier does have certain benefits.

The Benefits of Getting Up Early

Getting up early.  Before anyone else, it means those first few moments (or hours) are completely uninterrupted.

While most people are still in bed, you can get a real head-start on the day.  It’s like creating your own unique ‘you time’ to get the things you want to get done.  Without distraction or having other people make demands of you.


Physical activity and exercise can improve your health and well-being.  It helps prevent weight gain and reduce the chances of debilitating illnesses.  Another positive factor.  It can improve your mood and reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.  All good stuff.  But is there an optimum time to exercise for maximum benefit?  Exercise takes place in the morning routines of successful people.  But will it work for you?

What Research Says About Exercise as Part Of A Morning Routine

Researchers claim exercising first thing in the morning leads to productivity.  It is also said to be good for blood pressure and speeding up your metabolism.  But other research states that working out between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. is best for early risers.  This is because the body’s systems are geared up for action.  The heart and lungs are performing most efficiently and the body is most limber. 

At the end of the day, it is an individual choice.  But exercising first thing does mean that you are more likely to do it.  Perhaps this is why it’s included in the morning routines of successful people.

For many, exercise is done for health, fitness or diet reasons.  However, doing it early in the day ensures that you get it done before life takes over.


Meditating helps to clear your mind.  This has been one of the best habits I have incorporated into my morning routine.  See my article on the 5 Benefits of Meditating To Inspire You to Try It for Yourself.

Benefits of Meditating As Part of Your Morning Routine

Meditating first thing is more straightforward because there are no distractions around.  10 minutes in the morning can help reduce stress and anxiety.  Its purpose is to train attention and awareness.  Allowing you to live in the moment.  Starting the day from a calm state is a powerful thing to do, not only for yourself but also for others around you.  This is one of the morning routines of successful people that I would encourage.

But you can meditate at any time of day to balance yourself. 

Eat A Good Breakfast

I’m in favour of a good breakfast.  Eating breakfast as part of your morning routine provides your body’s fuel.  It provides you with the energy to start your day on the right foot.  It also means that you are less likely to eat heavily and, more often, later in the day.  

Definitely a consideration if you are looking to lose weight.

What You Eat For Breakfast Is Important

But it’s not a simple thing of just eating breakfast.  Those who eat a high protein breakfast tend to be more mindful about what is eaten later during the day.

In fact, they eat less during the day and are less likely to be hungry.  Also, high protein breakfasts prevent fat mass gains.  This may be why it’s part of the morning routines of successful people.

Perhaps those strange-sounding smoothies have something to offer after all.


Mark Zuckerberg challenged himself to read a new book every two weeks.  Warren Buffet reads 500 pages a day.  And Bill Gates reads 50 books a year and writes summaries of them on his blog.  

Whether it’s fiction or non-fiction.  Reading is an excellent habit to get into.  There is nothing like getting lost in a good book.  This can take as much or as little time as you choose.  Goals can be set for 10 minutes each morning or reading 10 pages.  Whatever works for you.

Why You Should Read As Part of Your Morning Routine

There are many good reasons why reading is good for you.  It broadens the mind, improves your vocabulary, and is mentally stimulating.  It’s also said to improve focus.  As well as reduce stress and depression.  Consider it yoga for the brain.

I know that I gain a lot from reading.  It sparks new ideas and ways of doing things.  One of my annual goals is to read 30 books a year.  Something that I have achieved over the last few years.  Through reading, I’ve gained confidence in my knowledge.  If you commute as I did for many years, use the time to read.  Trust me, it will pay enormous dividends for you and help you achieve whatever goals you set yourself.

You Don’t Have To Read As Part Of A Morning Routine

Reading can be done at the other end of the day when you are looking to unwind.  The morning may not be the best time for you, especially if reading inspires you to look at something straight away.  As such, it can distract you from the priority of the day.

Listen To Inspirational Podcasts

There are now thousands of podcasts out there.  They cover all sorts of genres, from Art to Zoology.  And everything between.  And the best part is that the majority of them are free, they are accessible, and you can listen through your iPhone, iPad or desktop.

Successful People Listen To Podcasts As Part Of Their Morning Routine

Do they really?  I couldn’t find any confirming evidence that all successful people listen to podcasts as part of their morning routine.  But Podcasts are a great combination of being entertaining and educational.

Storytelling has been around since humans began communicating with each other.  So in effect, we are carrying on an ancient tradition in a modern format.

They are so accessible.  Listening to a podcast can be done anywhere.  Whilst doing the housework,  on the journey to work or sitting in your home office.

Go on, Google podcasts and discover something that you enjoy.

My Favourite Podcasts

Hal Elrod’s Achieve Your Goals ( and Michael Hyatt’s Lead To Win

I don’t have a commute to work – unless you count stumbling into the room next to my bedroom.  So listening to podcasts is not something that I do first thing.  Instead, I prefer to listen to them when I have low energy.  This is at the end of the working day when I need a ‘pick me up.’

Start The most important task of the day First Thing

Brian Tracy wrote Eat That Frog – a great book on dealing with procrastination.  He explains that if you want to be super productive, start your day with the most important item on your to-do list.  This task will have severe consequences if you do not complete it.  High achievers understand what their essential tasks are.

This is why it features in the morning routines of successful people.  It is also usually the most challenging task we need to achieve that day.  But unfortunately, it’s also the task we tend to procrastinate on.

The Benefits of Doing Your Most Important Task As Part of Your Morning Routine.

It sets the tone for the day.  Doing your most important task first means making progress on your goals.  It can be the “One Thing” that will move you forward and where everything else will naturally follow.

Why This Might Not Be The Best Approach

But, there is also the belief that this is not necessarily the best thing to do.  For example, Mark Struczewski  argues that not everybody is productive first thing in the morning.  So, instead, focus on your most important task when you are at your peak in relation to performance.

A Personal Choice

This is again personal to your own situation.  I have a set routine of writing first thing.  This is something I enjoy, and it helps build a habit of consistency.  In addition, writing is the most important thing I can do for my business.  As such, I like to do my most important thing first.  I’m more energised first thing, but this might be different for you.


There is a lot of information on the internet and in books on the morning routines of successful people.  The morning routine I highlight in this article is a template many will follow.  But, it is not applied by all.

There are definitely positives connected to this form of a morning routine.  But counter-arguments suggest that this form of structure is not the most efficient.

So will the morning routines of successful people work for you?  The important thing is to have a morning routine.  Because routine creates calm and organisation as well as reduces stress.  Knowing what you need to do without making decisions leads to a simple life.  But how you structure your morning routine is up to you.

About the author Alison

A qualified UK based coach with 30 years of experience in personal development.

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