Sign up FAST! Login

Here’s the Schedule Very Successful People Follow Every Day | TIME

Stashed in: Time, @bakadesuyo, 37signals, Rituals

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

1) The Morning Ritual

Laura Vanderkam studied the schedules of high-achievers. What did she find? They rise early. Almost all have a morning ritual.

You need to wake up before the insanity starts. Before demands are made on you. Before your goals for the day have competition.

If you want to achieve work-life balance you need to determine what is important and focus on that. (And research shows goals make you happier.)

Having concrete goals was correlated with huge increases in confidence and feelings of control.

Via The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People:

People who construct their goals in concrete terms are 50 percent more likely to feel confident they will attain their goals and 32 percent more likely to feel in control of their lives. – Howatt 1999

As I’ve discussed before, the second part of your morning ritual is about mood. That feeling of control is what produces grit and makes people persist.

Via The 100 Simple Secrets of Successful People:

Research comparing students of similar ability finds that the distinguishing feature between those who maintain a strong work ethic in their studies and those who give up is a sense of control. Those who express a sense of control receive scores that are a full letter grade higher than those who do not. – Mendoza 1999

For more on morning rituals, click here.

2) Important Work First Thing — With No Distractions

Many people arrive at the office and immediately get busy with email and meetings, leaving real work for later in the day… Rookie error.

Research shows that 2.5 to 4 hours after waking is when your brain is sharpest. You want to waste that on a conference call or a staff meeting?

Studies show that alertness and memory, the ability to think clearly and to learn, can vary by between 15 and 30 percent over the course of a day. Most of us are sharpest some two and a half to four hours after waking.

When I interviewed willpower expert Roy Baumeister, what did he have to say?Early morning is also when you’re most disciplined:

The longer people have been awake, the more self-control problems happen. Most things go bad in the evening. Diets are broken at the evening snack, not at breakfast or in the middle of the morning. Impulsive crimes are mostly committed after midnight.

But does this really work? In studies of geniuses, most did their best work early in the day.

“But why did you say I need to hide somewhere?”

Because distractions make you stupid. These days it’s hard to do much real work at work.

You May Also Like: