“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished your first task of the day.”
This is a snippet taken from a speech made by former US Navy Seal, William H. McRaven. The soldier’s book is, similarly, titled Make Your Bed and alongside becoming a #1 bestseller, it is also perceived as one of the world’s greatest self-help guides.
You can be of the mindset that ‘nobody is going to see it’, ‘you don’t have the time’, or ‘it’s going to be slept in again tonight anyway’ but, is that just a defeatist attitude — the winners in society would say “absolutely”.
Do you think that Gates, Sugar, and Zuckerberg wake up in the morning, don their suit, and depart their room with a duvet wrinkled or, even worse, straddling the floor? The answer is no.
If you consider that you spend, on average, one-third of your day in your room and that making your bed is not only simplistic but, stress alleviating, the worth of such a mundane task first thing in the morning instantly extenuates.
Now that the first five minutes of your day have been accounted for, let’s examine the rest. Here, we look at the top five daily habits that successful people swear by — if you can’t beat them, join them.
Everyone can look busy — just to clarify, this isn’t tip number one. High-flyers around the world all repeat the same rhetoric of “it’s about working smarter, not harder”. Use your time wisely and think about what you are doing. Ask yourself the question, ‘what benefit is this task having?’.
People may jump to the wrong conclusion that the CEO or director of their company might not have time for anyone. In fact, they probably have the most time, the only thing is they establish priorities and boundaries, not wasting precious time on tasks which will produce no return.
Consider how you know what you’re trying to achieve when the situation is ever-changing. One problem many people struggle with is clear goal setting. Don’t instantly run off to grab a Bic and a A4 Spiral Pad to detail your Key Stage 2 ambition of becoming the coach of Real Madrid.
Make a list of actionable and achievable, yet ambitious, goals. These shouldn’t be a 15-year plan, they should be for today, tomorrow, and next Wednesday. Tick them off as you go and before long you will easily be able to distinguish the wood from the trees. 62 per cent of rich people focus on their goals every day.
The early bird…
We know that world leaders and business brains the world over don’t abandon their beds in a state of despair each day but, we are yet to discuss the time in which they vacate. It should come as no surprise that almost all the world’s success stories are built around individuals who actively beat the sun in its morning rise.
Virgin Media owner Richard Branson starts his day at around 5.45am, which may seem early to some but, not when compared to Apple’s CEO Tim Cook, who wakes up at 3.45am. By the time the world has awoke, both men have ticked off a number of items on their daily to-do-list, including completing a meditation session, responding to emails, and of course, sinking a coffee.
Thomas Corley, author of Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals, conducted a study involving more than 200 self-made millionaires from which he found that 44 per cent of rich people were awake three hours or more before their working day officially started.
There are a range of ways in which one can maintain both not only a good but, a healthy physique. In Corley’s aforementioned study two constants he recognised across the board were a lack of junk food and a continuous, structured amount of exercise.
Regardless of whether it’s running, lifting weights, or yoga, working out will make you more competitive and fill you with self-esteem and drive.
Belief in self improvement
If you don’t believe in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to? This spans a wide variety of things but, ultimately, starts with what you do every single day. It’s always easier when you’ve just had an exhausting day at work to come home, put your feet up, and emerge with pace down a rabbit hole on Netflix or social media. However, what do you benefit from that, apart from a quick fix?
Of course, this solution is often essential and there is no denying that but nine times out of ten you should be considering how best you can spend time to improve yourself in one way today. The successful and wealthy among us will be using this time to read something beneficial to their development. In fact, 88% of wealthy people spend at least 30 minutes every day reading non-fiction materials.
There is nothing to suggest that the implementation of these five measures will entitle you to the role of CEO at major global corporation but, it might be just enough to change your life!