Why the early bird catches the worm: 8 Tips to having a productive morning

Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, we have all established a morning routine. Love it or hate it how you start your morning can make or break the rest of your day. A recent study by the American Psychological Association Journal deduced that early risers are healthier, happier and even more productive. So we have asked some of our most successful entrepreneurs to share some tips from their morning routines for a better start to your day!

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1. Exercise

Dina Aly, co-founder of Matter Branding starts her day with an energising Yoga session. Yoga, with all its proven benefits, can have a major influence on the rest of your day. Exercising first thing in the morning gives you a boost of energy for the day and gets it off your to-do list before it starts piling up with work, family etc. If you aren’t used to waking up early then take it slow, start with a 15 minute stretching session or a few push ups and squats. It will help activate your body and prepare your mind for the day to come.

2.Make a To-Do List 

Laila Sedky, founder of Nola Bakery, wakes up at 7am and devotes at least one hour to planning her day. She starts by writing a to-do list on what she hopes to achieve. Mapping out your day and visualising what you will be doing can work wonders for maximising your potential. Mornings are usually quiet with few distractions and so it is the perfect time to do so. Try it! Wake up 20 minutes earlier and write your daily goals. Don’t forget to incorporate your long term goals as well.

3. Have a hearty meal

The importance of eating breakfast has been drilled through our minds for years. We have heard the saying ‘eat breakfast like a king’ over and over again. Honestly, it’s for good reason! Having a healthy meal early on in the day sets the path for a positive day. Chris Khalifa, founder of Zooba, fuels his body with Egyptian classics; fava beans and eggs. Taking the time to have a balanced breakfast can make you more focused and prepared to tackle your day

4.Spend time with family

Life usually gets in the way, and spending time with family and friends can become close to impossible on hectic days. That’s why Mohamed Azab, co-founder of Hassab Labs, dedicates his mornings to his daughters. Working between Cairo and Alexandria can make it very difficult for him to see his family and so Mohamed makes it a rule to wake up 4:30 AM every day, plan his day and wake up his daughters at 7AM. This allows him to spend some quality time with them before getting them ready for school. If you have children try to spend time with them in the morning as you are less stressed and can really give them your undivided attention. Remember, they are the main reason you work so hard, so don’t let work get in the way of your priorities.

5. Connect with your buddy

Use your morning hours to connect with a friend. In the morning, you have more energy and connecting with a pal over breakfast or working out together can be great for both your day and your relationship. Tarek and Sameh, co-founders of TBS, make it a point to engage in a friendly game of Squash and have a cup of coffee before attending to their separate work duties. If you haven’t been able to find the time to see a friend lately, try to set up one day of the week as your “breakfast date”.

6.Dedicate an hour to you 

Dedicating at least an hour a day to do something you genuinely enjoy is crucial for your mental health. Finding this hour, can be extremely difficult for most entrepreneurs. Adel Sedky, co-founder of Nola wakes up at 7:30 AM every day and goes horse riding. Horse riding has been a passion of his since a young age and Adel finds that starting the day this way leaves him in a positive mood for running the company.

7. Eat a live frog

“Eat a live frog early in the morning and nothing worse will happen that day”

Ahmed Badr, co-founder of DrBridge, really puts Mark Twain’s words into practice. Ahmed wakes up at 7AM, writes his to-do list and then holds a team meeting. Scheduling team meetings can be a huge hassle, employees get busy/leave early or can simply disappear. Meeting with them first thing in the morning gets it out of the way without interrupting the teams’ schedule. It also lets people know what they are expected to achieve that day and can consequently increase the productivity of the entire organisation.

8. Make it a habit

Habits are all about consistency. Establishing an ideal morning routine and doing it everyday can really change your life and enhance your productivity. Don’t make an extreme change or it might be to difficult to maintain. Start by tweaking your current routine until you have achieved your goals. Continuously making small changes in your lifestyle is the best way to make a sustainable change.

So, how are you going to transform your mornings?

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