There are a handful of successful CEOs that swear by the daily morning and nighttime routines they fit into their busy schedules. These daily additions help them set the tone for the day and be prepared for what the morning may bring. Although they each have a different system, they all attribute their success to the act of taking time out to focus on one’s self to start and end the day. From Ariana Huffington’s journaling to Nadia Boujarwah’s early morning rising, these routines will hopefully inspire you to maintain a self-care routine that helps you achieve your dreams.
Former Starbucks CEO and current executive chairman Howard Schultz wakes up at 4:30 AM to start his day and walk his dog. Starting your day with a few calming activities that you enjoy, especially if it means getting outside, rather than rushing through your morning, may help increase your productivity and elevate your mood throughout the day. This allows you to feel more prepared, get more done, and maintain a more cheerful persona.
Nadia Boujarwah, the co-founder and CEO of Dia&Co, likes to wake up at 6 AM, the latest 6:30 AM, and will usually carve the first 10 minutes for Headspace the meditation app. Waking up early and starting with a calming ritual gives your mind and body time to ease into a new day. Finding an activity that you like to do once you wake can help you to create a routine that helps you to get ready for the day. Boujarwah also likes to get ready and head to the office early, which allows you time to enjoy the commute and people around you without feeling rushed. This helps your morning activities feel less like a chore and more like a ritual.
Sometimes, a good day depends on how you spend the previous night. Lu Li founder and CEO of Blooming Founders, the networking and events platform for female entrepreneurs, freelancers, and women in startups sticks to an important wind-down routine: “My healthy morning habit happens the night before. As an extrovert, I get energized throughout the course of the day, so my brain is still going full-speed when I return home around 10 or 11 p.m. It can be hard for me to wind down and go to sleep, so I do guided meditation before I go to bed. I lie in bed and listen to recorded meditations for up to an hour. That way I wake up and my head is clear; I can think about the priorities of the day from a fresh perspective.”
Having an idea of what needs to get done the next day helps Kenneth Chenault, American Express CEO, wind down for the night, all while eliminating the next day’s stresses from his brain. Chenault likes to end each day by writing down the top 3 things he wants to accomplish the next morning. This method can help you to organize your agenda for the next day, and start the following day feeling prepared. You can fall asleep feeling stress-free, and eliminate any late night thoughts about what needs to get done.
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post CEO, settles into the night by taking a lavender bath, dimming all of the lights and focusing on reading books of poetry or philosophy before bed. She also likes to take the time during her bath, to write in a journal and channel any stress or anxiety from the day onto the page. It is a routine that allows you to wind down well before you have to get into your bed. Over time, this routine signals to your body that it is time to release stress and relax.
What are your favorite evening and morning routines?
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Photos: Starbucks.com, LinkedIn, BloomingFounders.com, SleepNews.com