Successful people do these 3 things every morning to maximize productivity

We all want to get our day off to a productive start but it’s not always easy. Can we learn anything from successful people?

We sure can. 

I was never a morning person. Getting up and getting motivated to get things done day in, day out seemed impossible. Even when I did manage to get into what I thought was a productive morning routine, it was short-lived. 

That was until…

I implemented three things I learned about successful people who had figured it out. 

Let’s dive in!

1) They get up early

We’ve all heard that the early bird catches the worm. Looking at the routines of successful people, this is certainly true. 

As reported by The Independent, well-known successful people all seem to get up super early

  • Apple CEO, Tim Cook – 3:45 a.m.
  • Square & Ex Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey – 5:30 a.m.
  • Michelle Obama – 4:30 a.m.
  • Disney CEO,  Bob Iger –  4:30 a.m.
  • Virgin Group CEO, Richard Branson – 5:45 a.m.

The list goes on. 

Compare these with the average wake-up time of 7:30 a.m. in the US and you begin to see a trend. 

But what about mere mortals like you and I? Does waking up early actually benefit us?

Yes, evidence would suggest it does. A survey of over 1,000 Americans conducted by Sleep Junkie showed that those who got out of bed earlier were more satisfied and had higher salaries. 

But how do we drag ourselves out of bed earlier? 

As someone who used to sleep the morning away, I eventually found the key to getting up and at it, consistently. 

Keep reading to find out what it was (it’s not what you think). 

2) They exercise 

We all know that exercise is beneficial in so many ways but many high achievers choose to do it early in their day: 

You get the point. 

How does this contribute to maximizing productivity?

The evidence is pretty compelling and there’s so much of it, I could write an entire book on it. 

Here are just a few ways. 

As noted by Healthline, regularly getting oxygen to your lungs by way of exercise can help to improve energy levels. This can give successful people the boost they need to get a good start to the day.

Also, a 2019 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggests that exercise can improve focus, planning skills, and memory; crucial skills for productivity. 

These facts are all well and good but if you can’t get out of bed in time, you aren’t going to have the time to do exercise. That was me just a few short years ago. 

So, back to my earlier promise…. how did I motivate myself to get out of bed earlier? 


I don’t love exercise. Having tried to get up and work out at the gym as many successful people do, I just couldn’t keep it going. 

What changed?

Quite simply, I started playing golf in the mornings. While I may not love working out, I am fond of golf.  Since incorporating thirty minutes of driving range practice into my morning routine, getting up has been a breeze. 

I now look forward to getting up. 

Sure, it’s not as intense as lifting weights or running five miles but it gets me up, moving, and oxygen flowing to my lungs. 

Both getting up early and exercising have been instrumental in making me more productive but this final habit was an absolute game-changer…

3) They tackle their most difficult task first 

I first learned this from a top-selling author of over 70 books on productivity,  psychology, and business, Brian Tracy

He refers to it as “eat that frog”. In short, what it means is that you should complete your most difficult, important, and challenging task first. 

On his blog, Tracy goes as far as to call this a “secret weapon” of successful people, noting that it is essential for anyone who wants to achieve great success. 

It’s a simple way to avoid procrastination and get what needs to get done, done. 

I quote “To be successful in life, discipline yourself to begin immediately and then to persist until the task is complete before you go on to something else.”

Having read his book with the same title some years ago, I took this advice on board. It wasn’t easy to adopt the habit but once I did, I saw my productivity skyrocket.

Getting my most difficult daily task sealed off early in the day has a huge knock-on effect. Once I get it done, I feel motivated to do more. It’s like a circle of productivity. 

For me, this means diving into writing a challenging article or some important tasks for my side projects.

Your task might be different but whatever it is, I would highly recommend trying to get it done early in the day before you have exhausted the mental energy you need to tackle it. 

The bottom line

These morning activities are tried and tested ways of maximizing productivity. 

These habits are practiced by countless uber-successful people across many industries but you don’t have to be the CEO of a huge company to reap the benefits. 

Doing so has helped me to become more productive in my daily life and with some effort and dedication, I am positive they can do the same for you. 

So get to it…get up, get moving, get working on challenging tasks, and see the results for yourself.

Picture of Mal James

Mal James

Originally from Ireland, Mal is a content writer, entrepreneur, and teacher with a passion for self-development, productivity, relationships, and business. As an avid reader, Mal delves into a diverse range of genres, expanding his knowledge and honing his writing skills to empower readers to embark on their own transformative journeys. In his downtime, Mal can be found on the golf course or exploring the beautiful landscapes and diverse culture of Vietnam, where he is now based.

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