Start your day right
Tips from successful people for a productive day
Often, the way you start your day decides the course it will take. Almost every successful person has a unique routine in the morning—be it to go through the news, or to go out for a jog and switch off all social media updates. In My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired (Penguin Books, ₹499) , Benjamin Spall and Michael Xander speak to successful entrepreneurs, athletes and authors to learn about their morning routines. We pick a few to see what we can do to make the day more productive. Edited excerpts:
President of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios
I meditate every day for 30-60 minutes before working out. It is always some form of Vipassana meditation. I have received a great deal of benefit from the simple yet difficult practice of learning to stop the internal voice in my head. I learnt that that voice isn’t me, and I don’t need to stop rethinking events of the past, nor overthink plans for the future. I will admit, however, that even though I am focusing on the breath, an idea will sometimes just pop up that’s worth keeping. If I hang on to it, it messes up my meditation. So I just jot it down and let it go.
US Olympic swimmer
I have had one routine my entire life. I wake up at 5.30am, grab an energy bar and hit the road for my workout. It includes a swim, weight training or run-Interval workout.
Author of ‘The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up’
After I wake up at 6.30am, I open the windows to let in fresh air and I purify the house by burning incense. I like to have warm drinks like hot water or herbal tea before I eat breakfast. After breakfast, we pray at the home shrine to give thanks. Sometimes I practise yoga.
Co-founder of Twitter and Medium
My son wakes me up by 6.30am and I always play with him. He has discovered Minecraft for iPad and we play that together over our local area network, so it’s just me and him in the game. I fill up a big bottle of water and drink the whole bottle first thing. My doctor once told me that everybody is under-hydrated so I started doing that years ago. After that I drink coffee. I don’t check my phone in the morning. I unplug it and put it on the shelf near the door so I won’t forget it the next morning along with my keys and wallet. Sometimes I look at my iPad for 5 minutes after breakfast.
Founder, Blue Bottle Coffee
Four days a week I do a boot camp in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. It’s exhausting and arduous and clears my mind like nothing else I’ve ever done.
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