What Successful People Do In the First 15 Minutes of Their Morning

This is more than morning motivation. Which morning habit can you implement first, that would serve you best?

Explore these morning habits of successful people and learn to grow and improve yourself.


Whether you jump out of bed singing with the birds or shove your head back under the pillow, we all have to face them.

But did you know that what you do in the first 15 minutes after you wake up has a massive effect on the rest of your day?

I’m not just talking about the video gone viral with Admiral McRaven’s “Make your bed”.

I’m talking about EVERYTHING you do in the first 15-30 minutes upon waking.

Here are a few habits of successful people, and how they spend the first 15 minutes of their day.

Discover what to do in the morning to guarantee a productive future.

Also see our selection of motivational morning quotes to help you seize the day.

Morning habits of successful people

1. Immediately practice Gratitude

Before even getting out of bed Sit up, put your feet on the floor, and taking 20 seconds to thank God/the world/universe/greater good for waking you.

It is not guaranteed and having worked on the ambulance, I learned this first-hand.

Ever since one specific call, which I will not go into detail, I have made it a practice to thank my maker for waking me.

This is something I’ve come to learn that many successful people do- some do it during their morning coffee/tea, while others practice it at other points in their morning rituals.

Recent studies have actually shown how complaining changes one’s brain.

But it isn’t just that complaining re-wires our brains…

Researchers have found that emotions such as gratitude can help make us much more resilient to the daily ups and downs that life offers us.

Helping us stay more upbeat, and positive that “THAT NO MATTER HOW HARD IT IS, OR HOW HARD IT GETS…YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE IT”, as the great Les Brown said.

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Or as Michael Hyatt puts it in his book ‘Your Best Year Ever’:
“Gratitude has the potential to amplify everything good in our lives.”

Start your day off with gratitude, and watch your life begin to change for the better!

2. Avoid checking their phone

I’m totally guilty of this some mornings, and I can feel the difference the rest of the day.

While there seems to be a split in the highly successful entrepreneur world, personally, I’ve found there seems to be a growing number of successful individuals who are making a point to stay away from their phone for at least the first 30-90 minutes of the day.

When I first started this habit, it was REALLY hard.

Even refraining from sending a regular good morning text is tough.

I kept finding my Gmail & LinkedIn apps…but after a few weeks, I actually began to feel much more relieved, and relaxed, beginning my day by practicing gratitude, making coffee, and reading in bed for another 10-15 minutes.

I’ve found that other highly successful individuals either meditate for 30 minutes in the morning, are making sure to get time in with their loved ones, or for themselves, before checking their phones and getting into work.

However, these tend to be individuals who either have teams of people working for them or have set up systems, allowing them to not worry about what happened halfway across the world while they were sleeping.

Perhaps this is why other morning habits of successful people……

3. Checking their phone for relevant news, or email or things that happened overnight

To quote Jay-Z “Look, I know I contradicted myself, but I don’t need that now…”

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There are some highly successful folks (Gary V and Elon Musk come to mind), who check their emails /phones first thing in the morning, and are totally good with it.

The key takeaway from #2 and #3 here, is to purposefully make a decision of what works best for you in the mornings.

Try going phone-free for 15 minutes upon waking for 2 weeks, and see how the rest of your day plays out.

This may be quite a bit harder than you think!

This doesn’t mean letting your alarm go off forever.

You can (and probably should) shut your alarm off… Just fight the urge to jump right to facebook/email/CNN etc.

Try it.

You may be surprised how much you like it…or how much you feel behind the rest of the day.

4. Write a list of their to-do’s for the day

Honestly, I totally scoffed AND laughed when my mentor told me to write a to-do list each day.

Boy, she was the last one laughing!

Not only did my days get 10x more productive, but I found myself far more focused within each task itself.

Personally, I use Evernote and Trello to help me line up my to-do lists.

Evernote is for my daily work & administrative tasks that aren’t necessarily in line with a project.

Trello is for each of my projects, whether it’s just me working on it, or it’s a collaboration with another professional or company.

Find what works for you, and stick to it.

You may just be able to open up 2 hours a day for you to CRUSH IT for one of these 10 things…

5. Roll out of bed into their walking shoes/exercise clothes

Having been in the fitness industry for over 15 years, I’ve worked with a number of super-successful individuals.

The funny thing is, as I looked back through my notes to write this article, I realized a trend:

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Every single one of them started their workout with me between 6-6:30 am.

I was the second person they would see each day (the first was their significant other), 4-6 days a week.

While this is not a hard rule, it is one of those habits of successful people that many openly talk about.

But what is so special about 5 am or 6 am workouts?

It allows you to start your day focused on yourself, getting something positive accomplished, and sets the tone of the day with energy and accomplishment.

6. Make their bed

Sounds silly, but making the bed is another way to set the tone for the day.

It’s a stupidly simple task (unless there is someone else sleeping the bed, in which case, it can be an impossible task) that allows you to start your day by having accomplished something of significance right from the gate.

It also allows you to walk into a room that feels far more “homey” and nicer at the end of a day…and as we all know when you have “one of those days” there is nothing quite like coming home to clean, made bed.

Do you have other morning habits of successful people to share?

While this is not an exhaustive list, these are the most common themes I’ve experienced myself and have found with other highly successful individuals.

But really, what it all comes down to, is PURPOSEFULLY designing each and every morning so that you focus your energies, and begin the day with a positive step, and positive outlook.

What other morning habits of successful people do you know?

Perhaps you have a routine that you found works really well?

Share it below in the comments!

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  1. Bharat

    January 15, 2019 at 2:34 AM

    i loved your morning motivational tips. It is very important to start your day with all positivity. Is there any emailer list i would love to be on that list. Please let me know.

  2. Josh Steinberg

    November 12, 2018 at 5:43 PM

    Getting your day off to a good start is so important! These tips are spot on.

  3. Jonathan

    September 25, 2018 at 10:49 PM

    Speak kind affirmations to myself. It is amazing how far talking and being kind to yourself can get you.

  4. Aaron

    September 24, 2018 at 9:49 AM

    Drink Water! Your body is severely dehydrated right after waking.

    • Menachem Brodie

      September 25, 2018 at 2:00 AM

      Yes! That is a good one! We do need a boost to our blood volume first thing in the morning!
      Do you find any difference between cold water or warm (tap) water?
      What changes did you notice after you started this habit?

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