Get All Access for $5/mo

5 Easy Ways to Start Your Morning Off Right and Conquer the Day The morning sets the tone for the full day ahead, so make sure you're kicking it off the right way for you.

By Rachel Apfel Glass Edited by Kara McIntyre

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

I love the mornings and I am a self-taught morning person. I used to love my sleep, especially on the weekends. As an entrepreneur and a mom, I've learned that my early morning hours are my most precious time and really make a difference in the tone of the whole day ahead.

I encourage you to try waking up just a little bit earlier each day, and pretty soon, you will be up before your alarm. In fact, I am much less tired on days when I am up early and stick to my morning routine than on days when I don't.

Having a morning routine of your own lets you run your day in a way that's truly planned and yours, rather than a reaction to anything or anyone else. It's your day to have — go shine!

Related: 5 Simple and Effortless Morning Routines You Can Start Tomorrow

1. Start your morning the day before

I finish each day of work with my to-do list for the following day. This list has my schedule for the day (even though it's in my calendar too, I'm a visual person and like to write it down each day), my top priorities to focus on and things that have to get done that day — and only that day.

This list should be short. I like to keep at fewer than 10 each day, and sometimes, it's only two or three things. But make sure this list is only for today so you're not overbooking yourself.

2. Take your daily "vitamins"

I love lists, and I also keep a list of my daily "vitamins" — and no, it's not a multivitamin, vitamin C or fish oil.

For me, my "daily vitamins" are exercise and/or some form of movement, meditation, drinking three liters of water throughout the day, writing in my five-minute gratitude journal and reading something nonfiction for 20 minutes.

The key is the morning here. Whatever those daily "vitamins" are for you, try to do at least one or two of them first thing in the morning.

I try to exercise as soon as I can after I wake up. This doesn't work for everyone, but if I don't exercise first thing, the day takes its course and it won't happen. I love the feeling of sweating first thing. I also drink my first full liter of water before putting anything else (including coffee) into my body.

Beyond the exercise and hydration, the key here is starting the day with two "daily vitamins" already in the books. It's that feeling of accomplishment before 9 a.m. that carries itself with you the rest of the day.

Related: 9 Simple Ways to Transform Your Morning Routine and Boost Productivity

3. Do the hardest things first

After reviewing my top priorities for the day, I always do my project/one thing that requires the most thinking time first. I have the most mental energy in the morning, so I find this is the best time to really focus and put thought into my hardest, most important task that day.

4. Begin the day without emails and phone

The day is yours. I like to set my day with intention and focus on my highest priorities before diving into emails, texts and calls that pull me in so many different directions — and, more importantly, pull me away from my main focus(es) of the day. I start with myself and my top priorities before diving into others.

Emails are really other people's to-do lists disguised as your own. If I get lost checking emails, it might feel like I'm working and busy, but this is pulling me away from my top priorities, which can throw off the rest of the day.

Related: 6 Morning Health Hacks to Boost Productivity and Keep You Energized All Day

5. Drink water and eat fruit first thing in the morning

I love coffee, but I always start my day with a full liter of water before I eat or drink anything else. Our bodies need to rehydrate from the night of sleep, and I like to think of my delicious iced coffee as my "reward" for hydrating first.

The best fuel in the morning is fruit, and only fruit — trust me. I eat any kind of natural fruit such as bananas, berries and melons as my breakfast every morning. Fruit is so easy to absorb and the most natural for our bodies after a night of sleep. Think of all the work your body has to do to digest food. It's so much better to eat naturally-absorbing food in the morning so your body is not going into overdrive to use energy to absorb food.

Remember, as with anything, not every morning goes as planned. This is not a perfect routine and life happens — bad nights of sleep, work emergencies, family, kids, etc. It's great to keep a morning routine most of the time, but also I make sure to be easy on myself when it doesn't go as planned and try to re-route for the day or for the next day.

The magic of mornings is truly a gift and it's hard to do every single morning, but if you get in a routine, it will become that much easier.

Rachel Apfel Glass

Founder + CEO, Glosslab

Rachel Apfel Glass is the founder of GLOSSLAB, the modernized manicure experience. Rachel graduated from Cornell University and Columbia Business School, and lives in NYC with her husband and two young daughters.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business News

How Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang Transformed a Graphics Card Company Into an AI Giant: 'One of the Most Remarkable Business Pivots in History'

Here's how Nvidia pivoted its business to explore an emerging technology a decade in advance.

Starting a Business

How to Find the Right Programmers: A Brief Guideline for Startup Founders

For startup founders under a plethora of challenges like timing, investors and changing market demand, it is extremely hard to hire programmers who can deliver.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business News

Want to Start a Business? Skip the MBA, Says Bestselling Author

Entrepreneur Josh Kaufman says that the average person with an idea can go from working a job to earning $10,000 a month running their own business — no MBA required.