Is there some secret routine that billionaires follow that leads to their success? You would be surprised to find that a lot of billionaires share the same habits. From the likes of Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to Spanx’s Sara Blakely, here is a little extra push that can help you change your mornings for the better.
the miracle morning
by Hal Elrod
⏱ 14 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
They Get Up Early
Billionaires have a lot of reasons to get up early in the morning. If they constantly hit the snooze button and only kick off the covers after noon– well, they wouldn’t be billionaires because they’re missing out on the most productive hours of the day.
Time is a resource, just like everything else, and these billionaires make it count. With a schedule that’s no doubt packed to the brim, they– and you!– get up a lot earlier than most people. Twitter’s founder, Jack Dorsey, rises at 5:30 a.m. every morning. British business magnate Alan Sugar beats him by half an hour.
And beating Dorsey by an entire hour, Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, gets up at 4:30 a.m. seven days a week, no matter if he’s on vacation or where ever he is in the world. This is because he believes that “It’s a time of day when [he] can be very productive without too much interruption.”
And– here’s the doozy — Apple’s infamously strict CEO, Tim Cook, gets up at the darkest hour– 3:45 a.m, every single morning. His routine is followed by doing his email for an hour, hitting the gym, doing more emails– this time at Starbucks, and finally going to work at Apple.
You might be wondering what kind of job could motivate you to get up nearly six hours before you need to. Well, Apple’s CEO believes that “The thing about it is, when you love what you do, you don’t think of it as work. It’s what you do. And that’s the good fortune of where I find myself.”
Of course, to get up early and feel refreshed and motivated, you’d have to get some quality rest first. An incredible number of workaholic billionaires swear by getting a solid night’s sleep. This applies to everyone, from Jeff Bezos to Arianna Huffington. They know that they won’t be as productive– or at least be at 100% if their mind is still foggy. Most billionaires aim to get at least six hours of sleep each night.
They Pump Some Iron
Or, to put it more clearly, they do any form of exercise that gets their blood pumping, keeps their bodies fit, and keeps their minds sharp.
And they do it in the morning. Otherwise, they wouldn’t get a chance to fit in an exercise session during their busy day. Of course, billionaires differ on their favorite forms of working out. Some prefer aerobics. Others lift weights. Still, others take walks.
What exercising in the morning does is improve your focus throughout the day. Some studies even show that regularly exercising improves your confidence levels and your blood pressure, energy levels, and limits cravings. Those who swear by early morning workouts are– other than Tim Cook– Virgin Group’s Richard Branson.
After getting up at 5 a.m., Twitter’s Jack Dorsey meditates for half an hour before completing a seven-minute workout three times. He follows that with a cup of coffee and clocks into work.
Billionaire Oprah Winfrey prefers taking a walk after rising at seven a.m., striking two birds with one stone– getting some exercise and walking her five dogs.
Microsoft’s Bill Gates likes to work out. So every day, he puts in an hour of jogging while he watches educational videos. Gotta admire his ability to be as efficient as possible.
Even billionaires like to meditate and take advantage of the countless benefits meditation brings to those who engage in even five minutes of it a day. For many wealthy business people, meditation sits at the top of their schedule for the day, right after waking up and before coffee.
Take Oprah, for example, who meditates for 20 minutes in the sprawling backyard of her estate. Or James Simons, an American billionaire hedge fund manager and mathematician, dedicates part of his morning to the calming activity.
Arianna Huffington, who strictly follows her morning routine, takes it very seriously. She cites a “wake-up call in 2007” that opened her eyes when she, after overworking herself, fainted from sleep deprivation and exhaustion and was injured.
Now, she doesn’t use an alarm and sleeps a full eight hours, meditates anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes before working out– her preferred method of exercise being 30 minutes on a stationary bike and five to ten minutes of yoga stretching.
Tackle the Hardest Tasks First
Ever heard of the saying “Eat the frog” by Mark Twain? “Eat the frog” refers to tackling the hardest, most undesirable task of the day first to get it out of the way. Billionaires have no shortage of important projects and tasks every day. There is no time better than the mornings to tackle them. During this time, they’re more focused, face fewer interruptions, and allow themselves to take on more tasks.
Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg is known for preferring to work as early as possible. The first thing he does each morning is checking his Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger while still in bed. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, who stands out for waking up naturally without an alarm, schedules all his “high-IQ” meetings around 10 in the morning.
Tesla and SpaceX’s Elon Musk is well-known for his love for work. After waking up around seven o’clock, he spends the next half hour reading, responding to important emails, and then immediately heads to work, where he’s known to put in over 80 hours a week.
They Have a Hand-On Approach
Believe it or not, but the richest man in the world enjoys cooking in the mornings. Jeff Bezos isn’t the only one. You’d think that billionaires who live in massive mansions and have an entire staff of people would count on them for something like breakfast. Other than Bezos, take Dish Network’s chairman, Charlie Ergen, who makes his breakfast and makes his lunch to take to work.
Sara Blakely prefers making smoothies after her 6:30 a.m. morning yoga session. She puts everything from frozen berries and lemon to chia and walnuts to ensure she has a healthy start to her day.
Bill Gates may take the modern approach of simply watching educational videos while working out, but not all billionaires follow in his footsteps. Instead, understanding that knowledge is power, they make sure to empower themselves as much as possible.
A lot of them credit reading as a large part of their success. You probably won’t find them reading fictional or sci-fi novels, though. Instead, they prefer books that can help them reach their goals and apply their knowledge in their businesses.
Billionaire investor, Warren Buffet, also known as the “Oracle of Omaha,” is an avid reader. He’s previously told students to read 500 pages every day, saying, “That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest.”
It’s said that after arriving at the Berkshire Hathaway offices, the majority of Warren Buffet’s day is spent reading. He says he sits in his office and reads all day. Buffet says his daily work routine is 80% reading books, newspapers, financial statements, journals, and business reports.
He tries to read as much as he can. After a full eight hours of sleep each night, he wakes up at 6:46 a.m. and cracks open newspapers, like USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, NYT, Financial Times, Washington Post, the NY Observer, American Banker, Oil & Gas Journal, A.M. Best, and even Furniture Today.
They Spend Time With Their Families
Billionaires have jam-packed schedules, but the smart ones fit in quality family time at the start of each day if they’re going to be busy later on. As much as he works, Elon Musk makes sure to send his five sons off to school every morning. If it’s the weekend, he dedicates himself to hanging out with them.
Brazilian telecoms magnate, Carlos Slim Helu, dedicated his mornings to spending time with his six children and grandchildren.
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