Looking at the way successful people schedule their days can help you alter your own schedule so that you can maximize your success every day of the year. With the help of studies conducted on high-achievers, we have pointed out five activities that successful people schedule into their daily routines so that you can catch a glimpse and learn a few things from people who have already seen success.

1) “The Morning Ritual.”

When you get your morning ritual down, you can start your day out with the same strong foundation every time you open your eyes. “Laura Vanderkam studied the schedules of high achievers,” and she discovered a few things that you may find useful. “They rise early. Almost all have a morning ritual.” The reason you want to wake up early is so that you can get your mind on the right track before any outside influences can push in and change your course of action for the day. “Before demands are made on you. Before your goals for the day have competition.” Getting your goals in line and your day in control helps you truly take charge of your day in the fashion that you want.

2) “Important Work First Thing – With No Distractions.”

Your work that is the most pressing deserves the best of your attention. “Research shows that 2.5 to 4 hours after waking is when your brain is sharpest.” This means that when you get into the office, your first few hours are pivotal to your success for the day. They are the hours when your mind has the potential to be the clearest, the most focused. “Studies show that alertness and memory, the ability to think clearly and to learn, can vary 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.” Rather than scheduling all of your meetings for the morning so you can get them out of the way, schedule your time to do your work in the mornings and hold your meetings for later. Allow the problems of the day to sit on hold while you use clarity and a fresh mind to tackle the work that requires the most thinking first thing in the morning.

3) “Regroup When You Slow Down.”

The next thing that all successful people schedule into their day is time to regroup when their mind needs to take a break. Rather than attempting to push through the energy drop, they take a moment to reset their mind. “What you need next is a mini-version of your morning ritual. Review your goals and the progress you’ve made this morning.” The reason you want to stop and look back on the work you’ve done is two-fold. On one hand, you want to be able to look and see the progress you have made so you can re-evaluate what you need to do with the rest of your day. “Harvard research shows nothing is more motivating than progress.” Allow yourself some time to check out your progress for that boost of energy, and then re-apply yourself to your goals for the rest of your workday.

4) “Meetings, Calls and People Stuff in The Afternoon.”

If your energy in the morning is going to be spent on your own work, your energy in the afternoon can be spent on other activities that involve conversations with other people. “When energy is high, that’s when you want to focus on creative, challenging work. When energy is low, do busy work.” Therefore, you have the ability to do the busy work when your mind is less sharp. In fact, “Research shows the afternoon really is the best time for meetings – specifically, 3pm.” So stop scheduling your meetings for first thing in the morning and allow the afternoon to take up the space for that. In fact, “When tasks are dull and you’re feeling distractible, friends can make you more productive.” So the meetings you are in can actually be helpful in the afternoons, yet could be distracting in the mornings.

5) “A Relaxing Evening.”

“Though successful people do work long hours, the greats almost all take the evening off to recharge.” You want to work hard, and you will likely work a lot, if you want to be successful. However, just like any type of energy – you need to refuel in order to meet your maximum level of productivity the next day. “According to the American Psychological Association, the most effective stress-relief strategies are exercising or playing sports, praying or attending a religious service, reading, listening to music, spending time with friends or family, getting a massage, going outside for a walk, meditating or doing yoga, and spending time with a creative hobby.” Allow yourself the evening to engage in these stress-reducing activities so that you can lower your stress levels and recharge your batteries before they’re needed to work at maximum productivity levels the next day.

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