How you start your day can have a big impact on how productive and successful you are. Creating a morning routine can help set the tone for the rest of your day. Some days, everything goes right in the morning–you make a great breakfast, put together a sharp outfit, and finish up a project before you even leave. Other days, it’s hard enough to find matching shoes, let alone get them on your feet. Either way, try to personalize your version of these success-making morning habits.
Wake Up Super Early
Waking up early may not seem like the most pressing concern when you’re in college, but it’s worth considering. Many well-renowned leaders wake up earlier than 6 a.m. on weekdays. For example, Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi wakes at 4 a.m. and is in the office no later than 7 a.m. A poll of 20 executives found that 90 percent said they usually wake up before 6 a.m.
The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt star Ellie Kemper told The Cut that she tries to get up before the sun whenever possible. “I’m a morning bird,” said Kemper. “I love getting up before it’s light out, if it’s possible. I wake up, I have a black coffee. I’m an 86-year-old man.”
[Related: 22 Morning Routines That Will Inspire You to Get Out of Bed]
As Michelle Obama stated in an interview with Oprah in 2009, some of us can’t fathom the act of stretching in the morning, let alone working out. However, for others, exercise is the only thing that truly wakes them up. “I realized that if I had to get up for work or take care of my kids, I would do it without hesitation,” Mrs. Obama said. “But when it came to taking care of myself, suddenly 4:30 AM seemed too early. So I knew I needed to change my mindset.” Indeed, if she doesn’t exercise regularly she says she begins to feel depressed and lousy overall.
Jennifer Aniston has a morning routine that involves a spin-yoga combo, followed by going to the gym. Who else looks as good as her if not for this daily routine? “I’ll go do a workout of some sort. I have a trainer, a wonderful woman who I do this spin-yoga class [with]. We spin for half an hour, and then do yoga for 40 minutes. That’s pretty intense,” she told Well + Good. “Then I go to a gym, where I do strength training or just my own thing on the treadmill, the bike, or the elliptical, just to change things up. Keeping your body confused is always the key for me.”
For fifteen years, Michelle Gass, Chief Customer Officer at Kohl’s, wakes up every morning at 4:30 a.m. to go on a run–Believe it or not, she doesn’t drink coffee! She believes that her morning routine has helped increase both her happiness and business success rates.
[Related: What Your Morning Routine Says About You]
Talk With Their Family or Friends
According to Obie Mckenzie, managing director of BlackRock, spending 84 minutes talking with his wife every morning during their commute keeps them connected throughout the day. If you have the opportunity to talk face-to-face with a loved one during your commute, do it!
Master a Fast Morning Routine
Surprisingly, Tory Burch’s morning beauty routine is low-maintenance, given that she runs a fashion empire. She told Into The Gloss, “In the morning I usually walk out the door with a wet head, put my hair in a low ponytail and go out for the day—not very exciting. I don’t blow dry my hair, except when I go to a party, just so it’s a little bit more presentable. I prefer the look of my hair when it dries naturally—not too perfect or too straight.”
Jenna Lyons, creative director and president of J.Crew, has a short beauty routine but still picks her clothes with care. She told Harper’s Bazaar, “I do my makeup in about five minutes, and I get dressed in about three minutes. I definitely don’t have a work uniform. The idea of a uniform is like a slow and painful death to me. There is nothing I like more than getting dressed.”
[Related: Morning Workouts Work for Career Women]
Eat a Solid Breakfast
Though it may be quicker to eat a power bar or Pop-Tart, nothing beats a hearty breakfast to start the day. Kemper told The Cut, “I usually eat some sort of yogurt and granola or almonds. I love oatmeal. I like a healthy whole grain bowl of gruel. I know people eat egg whites and avocado, but I can’t have that. I need a starchy base. When I make it, I add brown sugar, raisins, and almonds. The night before, I’ll soak oats with almond milk, coconut, and chia seeds. It’s not pretty to look at. It is the definition of gruel. I eat it cold. It’s like, cold mush! But it’s delicious.”
Play a Competitive Game
According to The Guardian, before her 6:45 a.m. daily blow-out to achieve that iconic hair, Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour starts her day with an exhilarating 5:45 a.m. tennis match.
Watch the News
Some of us simply want to stay informed about current events before facing the day. For example, former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was an early riser, listening to the popular BBC Radio 4 program “Farming Today” at 5 a.m. every weekday morning–even after staying up very late the night before (Thatcher wasn’t much for sleep).
While rehydrating with some coconut water post-workout, Scandal actress Kerry Washington scans the news. But instead of outright newspapers, she relies on social media like Twitter. “I always find out about breaking news through [Twitter] first,” she told Self.
Some people wake up and immediately start their day, like AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. He told The Guardian that he wakes up at 5 or 5:15 in the morning to either answer emails or get a workout in. “Historically, I would start sending emails when I got up,” he told The Guardian in April. “But not everyone is on my time schedule, so I have tried to wait until 7 a.m. Before I email, I work out, read and use our products.”
Walk Their Dog
Even on weekends, Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, starts her day by taking a walk with her dog before 7:30 a.m. “She’ll start walking round the room, and then I will get up and take her out for a walk. I normally walk her for about an hour in the morning. It’s the only time of day I get to myself.”
Gwyneth Paltrow wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to do her yoga poses. ”I’m really not a morning person at all,” Paltrow told InStyle. ”It’s just sheer determination. I’m very strict with myself. When I practice six days a week and eat clean food, I feel much better.”
Make Your Bed
To wake up feeling refreshed and prepared for the day, this is what best-selling author Cameron Diaz does: She drinks a liter of water as soon as she wakes up, meditates for 20 minutes, eats avocado toast or oatmeal, and then works out. The whole process takes her an hour.
Chug Coffee (or Green Tea)
Lyons says she is a big fan of coffee: “My favorite thing in the world is coffee ice cream, so I try to get my coffee to taste as close to coffee ice cream as I can.”
Green tea is Eva Chen’s beverage of choice to start her day off right. As the former editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine and current head of fashion at Instagram, she also believes in putting together an outfit from the shoes up. “It’s a random thing about my morning routine. I don’t watch TV in the morning because I get sucked into it. I’ll end up watching reruns of The OC on Soapnet.”