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Blog: Productivity Hack for Business Leaders – Essential Morning Routine

What are the first actions you take each morning? Many successful business leaders support the claim that… how you start your day hugely impacts your energy levels, your productivity and your overall wellbeing.

“No matter where I am in the world, I try to routinely wake up at around 5 a.m. By rising early, I’m able to do some exercise and spend time with my family, which puts me in a great mind frame before getting down to business.

Richard Branson

Forbes.com asked 12 women leaders, each one at the top of their industry, what their morning routines look like, and the common thread throughout was rising early.

Harvard University Press drilled down to 3 Ways to Boost Productivity with a Morning Ritual. Firstly, rise early, secondly, exercise and thirdly, nourish, reflect and prioritise.

Author and Success Coach Hal Elrod wrote a book called Miracle Morning, in which he tells the story of his horrific car crash, being told he may never walk again and how he got through extraordinary challenges to eventually become an ultramarathon runner. He realised that setting up his body and mind for success first thing every day was essential for him to achieve his goals. Elrod breaks down his Miracle Morning into 6 distinct parts, each of which can take as little time as 1 minute. For those of you thinking ‘I don’t have time to commit to a morning routine to maximise my productivity’ here you have a 6 minute option! Here’s what it entails:

Minute 1 – Silence

Some may call this meditation, otherwise you can think of it as purposeful silence to still your mind and bring your awareness into the present moment reducing stress and increasing feelings of peace.

Minute 2 – Affirmations

Affirmations are positive, present tense statements which reflects your goals, dreams and priorities. For example, ‘I am widely recognised as a talented and effective CEO’ or ‘My company is reaching and exceeding its revenue targets’. Affirmations give you a feeling of confidence and re-energise you in the direction of what’s most important.

Minute 3 – Visualisation

Visualisation has proved itself to be a powerful tool in bringing your goals and dreams to life. Close your eyes and imagine you are experiencing your big business goal (or your goal for that day) right now – what do you feel like? Who is there with you? Imagine it is happening in this moment.

Minute 4 – Scribing

Write a list of what you are grateful for, what you’re proud of and the results you are committed to creating that day. Writing is a powerful practice in itself, it has the benefit of organising your thoughts and concretising your priorities. Gratitude has long been Oprah’s most crucial practice when creating a happy and successful life, and she is certainly doing something right!

Minute 5 – Reading

Choose a book that encourages growth, that teaches you a new skill or opens your mind to new ideas. Your essential business reading list: SKCI’s Business Bibliography.

Minute 6 – Exercise

Elrod suggests doing jumping jacks (or star jumps) for 60 seconds to get the blood flowing, get your heart rate up and liven up your whole system. Another option is to put on a favourite song and energetically dance around the room, lifting your spirits as well as waking up your body.

The end result is your body and mind are primed and ready for the day ahead…

Whether it’s the designer, the doctor, the CFO or the media mogul, their morning rituals are a vital ingredient in their secret sauce.”

Samantha Ettus


Engaging in a morning routine consistently is the key to maximising your productivity, and overall potential. Therefore, your routine must be sustainable and must fit into your day to day life. The ideas outlined above are to guide and inspire you to create a routine especially for you, start small and build up over time. We look forward to hearing how your morning routine has impacted your effectiveness, wellbeing and motivation.

Published Sept 20th 2019

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