The day’s success depends a lot on what you do in the morning. Many of the most successful people on the planet share the same morning routines.

This is no accident.

There’s a reason that high-achieving individuals have many morning rituals in common. There are certain things you should do when you wake up that will properly prepare you for the day. If you strive to be as successful as the world’s most powerful people, add these habits to your mornings:

Make a “tomorrow list”

A successful morning starts the day before. Before he leaves the office, American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault writes down three things he wants to accomplish the next day. In the morning, look at your list and tackle the toughest task first.

Mark Twain said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” When you complete your biggest task first, the rest of your day will be easier by comparison.

Prioritize sleep

The most successful people know that having a productive morning begins with getting enough sleep. Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and the richest person in the world, told Thrive Global that “Eight hours of sleep makes a big difference for me, and I try to make that a priority.” Bezos says that being well rested helps him make better decisions the next day. “Making a small number of key decisions is more important than making a large number of decisions.”

Wake up early

Studies show that most 90 percent of executives wake up before 6 am. While their morning routines vary, nearly all of the most successful people are early risers.

Apple CEO Tim Cook wakes up at 3:45 am to go through work email and hit the gym. GE CEO Jeff Immelt gets up at 5:30 am for a cardio workout. Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey wakes up at 5:30 am to meditate and go for a six-mile run. And Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz rises early for a morning workout so he can get to the office by 6 am.


It can be tough to add exercise to your morning routine, but most successful people make it one of their morning habits. Exercise helps reduce stress, gives you an extra energy boost, increases mental clarity and will jump start your productivity. Starwood CEO Frits van Paaschen runs 10 miles each morning, and entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk starts his day in the gym with his personal trainer. Not only will this habit put you on a path toward more success, but it will also improve your health and well-being.

Clear your mind

Successful people have a lot on their minds. To stop themselves from getting overwhelmed, many include meditation in their morning routines.

From Derek Jeter to Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, many of the best athletes use morning meditation to help improve their focus. Motivation speaker Tony Robbins meditates for 10 minutes every morning to improve emotional health and stability. Oprah is such a big proponent of morning mediation that she has a meditation center with Deepak Chopra.

Ask yourself this question

The late Steve Jobs, legendary innovator and founder of Apple, began each morning by asking himself one question: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? If the answer is ‘no’ for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.”

Most of the time, what you are about to do today is go to work. So, if you’re consistently answering no to this question, it’s likely time to find a new job. If you’re ready to make a change, Burchard & Associates can help. We’ve helped countless people like you find the next step in their accounting & financial careers. We get to know you and your career goals, then find an opportunity for you that will make you say yes to this question every day. To learn more, contact us.