People in the know, say that to improve our brain function and creativity we should exercise, especially first thing in the morning. Physical activity obviously gets our circulation going, which in return provides us not only with those lovely ‘happy hormones’, aka endorphins, but also generates increased neurological stimulus that ensures getting your brain into productive mode and generating new ideas.
I can attest to that. Mornings are my favourite time of day and I am not a night owl, therefore I don’t mind too much when I drag myself out of bed earlier than usual and go to the gym before starting my work day. Right now, I am writing blog number two of the day, with the ideas for both pieces having come to me during this morning’s workout; call it my “exercise epiphany”. This means I’m already being creative and productive before starting my workday proper.
When you read blogs and books on the top tips and habits of successful entrepreneurs, like The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, Organized For Success by Stephanie Winston, and other material on this topic, several of those habits identify having better daily time management, daily routines and structure, and anything that increases focus and a better use of time to enhance productivity.
I know several people who fall into the category of highly driven and highly successful entrepreneurs and executives – and I consider myself luck to have a few of them as my clients – and here is what I have observed and learned about their habits that get them a step or a mile above the average entrepreneur.
- They get up early. Whether they are naturally early risers or have disciplined themselves to do so, they are up before the crack of dawn and get going quickly and with purpose.
- They exercise in the morning. Not only does this avoid the risk of procrastinating or avoiding exercise routines later in the day, this is what gets their brains fired up.
- They have intense focus. Although highly successful people are often (always?) highly energetic Type A personalities and sometimes a touch hyperactive – and therefore challenged at sitting still for extended periods – their drive for success keeps them focused on the important tasks that will help achieve their goals.
- They read a lot. Their brains are like sponges that seek to keep learning about their industry and how to dominate it, how to become a better manager and leader, as well as how to keep growing as a human being and contributing to other people’s success and well-being.
- They set goals. And do everything legally and ethically necessary to achieve them. When they reach those goals, they set new ones. They are competitive – with others and themselves.
- They don’t watch much TV. Business and self-improvement books, biographies, webinars, seminars and podcasts are their main ‘entertainment’ – TV series and novels not so much.
And then rinse and repeat. Good and sufficient sleep of course sets the tone for an early start and a productive day, so start going to bed a bit earlier and set that alarm before your usual wake time, and head out for some exercise!
These top entrepreneurs achieve the financial success that then provides the means to enjoy the nice things in life, including traveling and resting on a regular basis. Now that is definitely something to aspire to!