Daily Morning Routine Habits of Successful CEOs

We all get the same 24 hours to work and accomplish our goals, so why does it seem that some successful CEOs accomplish more than others? What set’s these highly successful people apart? There’s certainly no cheat sheet to guarantee success, but most CEOs credit their achievements to their morning routines. Getting to the top requires you to do the right things every day, especially every morning. By maintaining a healthy morning routine, you can boost your productivity, accomplish your daily tasks, and feel satisfied with your work.

Here are a few morning routine habits which most successful CEOs swear by to get ahead in their life. Check out these successful habits and imbibe them in your routines.

Wake up Early

Since your morning routine sets the tone for the rest of your day, make the precious first hours count. An early wake-up call is one of the universal habits followed by CEOs across the globe. Former Disney CEO Bob Iger got up at 4:30 every morning. Waking up a couple of hours early gives you the opportunity to make use of the extra time in the morning. He uses this time to do his personal chores and plan the day ahead. While the rest of the world is asleep, he uses his morning hours to get his work done without any distractions.

Exercise & Fitness

While many of you would argue that you do not have any time for exercise in your daily morning routine, many successful CEOs believe their physical fitness is critical for their achievements. A study from Bristol University suggests that exercise improves concentration, focus, and motivation, and work productivity. That is why CEOs across the globe incorporate this in their regular morning routine. Moreover, the American Council of Exercise suggests that exercise increases the levels of a protein called BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor), which boosts your cognitive abilities and creates a positive impact on mental health. Mark V. Hurd, CEO of Oracle, chooses to play tennis every day to get his blood flowing and American entrepreneur, Mark Cuban, performs an hour of cardio exercises to ensure physical fitness becomes an essential part of their morning routine. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, begins his day with a quick meditative exercise involving a mix of deep breathing, gratitude, and intention setting. Meditation is also good for increasing your mental alertness.

Visualize while you Exercise

We cannot stress more on the fact that exercise contributes to your success. However, visualizing success while exercising further helps in improving your efficiency. When you exercise, your mind wanders a lot or sometimes worry about the day ahead. Seth Au, CEO at Dorado Financial, an alternative investment company in California, uses this time to visualize his success and create a positive synergy within him. He claims that this has helped him improve his efficacy and productivity at work, thereby achieving success at his role.

Read as much as possible

Reading is fundamental for all successful CEOs. Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo, wakes up at 4 am and prefers to kick off her day by reading a newspaper before heading to her office. Warren Buffet, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, reads six different newspapers every morning. In fact, he spends 80% of his day reading about his industry, latest trends, current affairs, and others. In his documentary, he recommends that people should read at least 500 pages a day because that is how they can gain knowledge. Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has always acknowledged the value of reading and has also taken up a challenge publicly to ready a new book every two weeks. Hence, it is crucial to develop a habit of reading, especially in the mornings, to keep yourself updated with what is happening and be able to compound your knowledge.

Seek Inspirations

With changing trends, it is not only important to read newspapers and books, but also consume a lot of digital content. Nick Leonidou, the founder of Nikleon, a luxury handbag manufacturer in New York, goes through all major social media platforms when she wakes up. Being in the fashion industry, she needs to be updated with all the latest trends and seek inspiration before starting her day. With this inspiration, she tries to maintain her creative balance.

Plan your Day wisely

When you want to accomplish a certain set of tasks, it is best to plan your day and work according to the plan. This way, you can avoid the hustle and bustle of the hectic day, or get side-tracked by new tasks and avoid any distractions. Planning ahead centres your focus on essential tasks and helps you create a plan for what needs to be done between which hours. Former U.S. President Barack Obama takes advantage of his morning hours to prepare for his day ahead. Kenneth Chenault, the former American Express CEO, uses his evening to reflect upon and plan the following day with his set of tasks. Creating a planner is also an effective strategy to overcome procrastination. It also gives a productive start to your day and helps in greater accomplishments.

Have a nutritious Breakfast

You might often understate the importance of starting your day with a nutritious day, but successful CEOs don’t. From Indra Nooyi to Elon Musk, all credit their thinking to a healthy breakfast in the morning. They start their thinking process after grabbing a cup of coffee, plan their day ahead, and move to a bowlful of nutritious breakfast. This recharges your body and keeps you mentally calm, and prepares you for a productive day ahead.

Cleanse your Brain & Fight Brain blocks

Most successful people use the morning hours to cleanse your brain off the negative thoughts from the previous day. It is essential to begin the day with a clear and positive mind. Moreover, it is also essential to fight off any brain blocks with building blocks. Dan Hogan, founder, and CEO of Medalogix likes to play a quick game of Lego, Sudoku or chess in the morning to give his brain a breather. This helps him improve his concentration, and focus on the current day, and get rid of all the previous day's plaguing thoughts. Such games are also helpful in maintaining mental acuity.


One of the most critical components for a healthy morning routine is to wake up with the sun and use the morning hours effectively. Many CEOs and other successful people credit their morning routines to their success, mental clarity, and overall productivity. While everyone’s morning is different, it would help learn from these successful CEOs' morning routines and add these habits in your lifestyle. With a dedicated practice of endorphin-boosting exercises, reading up and consuming relevant content, and setting the intentions for your day, you can take baby steps for a day-winning morning ritual.

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