Every human being has been given 24 hours in a day. That means people who run multiple businesses, start charities, get fit, build quality relationships, and actually affect real world change– have the exact same amount of time at their disposal that you and I do.
So how do these high performers get it all in? They have – each in their own way – mastered the art of the daily schedule.
To live a life filled with productivity – not only in your work, but also in the realms of learning, creativity, growth, human connection, service, and health – you can’t just wing it.
Here’s the little push you need to gain control of your days through the help of a morning routine and a daily schedule filled with 6 key activities for high performers.
Why Create a Daily Schedule?
Take a moment and think about the last 5 days. Where did your time go? Did you…
- Wake up productive?
- Use all your working hours toward focused achievement?
- Waste precious minutes wondering what to do next?
- Spend any time with your family or friends?
- Work out each day?
- Read a book, practice your hobby, or build a fort with your kids?
- Come home so tired that you “vegged” away your evening?
Now take a moment and think about how the 5 days could have gone. Could you have…
- Focused more during work time to leave some free time for yourself?
- Found 20 minutes to work on your side gig?
- Switched an hour on social media for an hour at the gym?
- Woken up 10 minutes earlier to make a healthy breakfast?
- Forgone another episode of Netflix to do something truly de-stressing like take a warm bath or flow through a yoga sequence?
Creating a daily schedule ensures that each day is well spent, including all helpful and healthy lifestyle habits.
Think of your daily schedule like your GPS. Waking up is your current location. Now where do you want to go? The schedule guides you through each pit stop to make sure you land at your final destination – bedtime – fulfilled, healthy, and having achieved everything you wanted to.
Still wondering how to have a productive day filled with healthy lifestyle habits? Read on!
6 Daily Activities For High Performers
These are some of the daily habits of successful people. Remember: success doesn’t just fall in your lap. High performers make their daily activities work for them.
But that doesn’t mean your day to day activities have to be work, work, work, hustle, hustle, hustle all day. That’s only one piece of the pie.
There should be time for hard work and focus in your daily schedule. Then there should be time to enjoy and recharge. These 6 daily habits of successful people make time for both, so you have a well rounded day – everyday.
1 – Productive Time
Let’s start off with the obvious portion of the daily schedule needed for any high performer: work. For some of us, it is a pre-determined set of hours by an employer. For others, we have some leeway. In either case, this should be a time of intense focus on getting it all done.
But know that productive time does not only include working at your current job/jobs that make you money. This is also time to build your side business, work on your investments, start a blog or podcast, or take classes. This is also a time to read work-related books or listen to work-related podcasts/videos.
Including these extra-curricular activities in your daily schedule is what sets a regular workday apart from a productive day.
2 – Connecting
You may be the most successful high performer in the universe, but if you never connect with another person during your daily activities, what is it for? Who will share it with you?
Each day should have some time for building relationships. This includes spouses/partners, kids, other family members, old and new friends, and your overall community. Don’t forget about your coworkers too – studies show that workplace happiness jumps up when you build these social connections.
3 – Play
Our daily schedule has to make room for fun. Including time in each day for crafts, sports, jumping on the trampoline with your kids, reading a novel for fun, or even drumming for that 90s coverband is not getting in the way of your optimal productivity – it’s ensuring it.
After all, as Dr. Stuart Brown, author of Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul, writes:
“The opposite of play is not work – the opposite of play is depression.”
The goal here is to disengage from the hustle. It’s not rocket science; it’s just doing what you enjoy.
4 – Nutrition
Eating healthy takes a little extra time. Not a ton of extra time, but some. This fact is why so many people forgo a nutritious meal for fast food, sugary meal replacement bars, or skipped meals.
Planning nutrition into your daily schedule may look like meal prepping over the weekend. It may look like planning a menu for each month. It may look like making your own healthy freezer meals for those rushed evenings. Do what you need to do so each meal can nourish, not harm your body and brain.
Consciously including nutrition into your daily schedule also means creating time to sit down and enjoy the meal with your family.
5 – Fitness
Movement is undoubtedly one of the top daily habits of successful people. In fact, one study of over 230 wealthy people – mostly composed of self-made millionaires – showed that 76% spend at least 30 minutes a day exercising.
Which makes perfect sense when you consider other studies have shown that exercise can increase energy, create a more positive mindset, improve social competence, and boost the academic part of the brain.
6 – Stress Relief
Life throws stress your way. It’s guaranteed. The best way to deal with stress is to stay ahead of it. Don’t wait until you are crippled by anxiety, overwhelm, and exhaustion to start incorporating de-stressors into your life.
Including stress relief into your daily schedule preemptively plans to combat life’s pressures.
Some ideas include:
- Daily meditation: Meditation can boost your Zen and your success. Harvard Business Review highlighted daily meditation as a rising trend among CEOs and top execs as it boosts resilience, emotional intelligence, creativity, focus, and more.
- Self-care practices: This could range from taking a hot bath or getting your nails done to turning off your phone and enjoying a square of dark chocolate.
- Essential Oils: These little bottles of nature’s remedies can naturally bring down your anxiety at home, at the office, or even in the car. Check out our 5 best essential oils for stress relief here
The Importance of the Morning Routine
In order to fit in these valuable activities into your daily schedule, you need to start the day off right… which brings us directly to a morning routine.
Morning routines and morning inspiration are all the rage right now. From the bestselling book The Miracle Morning to Tim Ferriss’s five morning rituals developed by interviewing hundreds of high performers (by the way, his morning routine checklist is: make bed, meditate, 5 to 10 reps of an exercise, hydration, and journaling.)
And there’s a reason this idea is taking off:
A successful day starts with a successful morning. A productive day starts with a productive morning. A joyful day starts with a joyful morning.
Yet most of us are slaves to the snooze button. We are so very tired and somehow believe an extra 10 minutes will be the magic answer. But it never is. You know what will actually refresh you?
- Taking time to move your body
- Eating a real breakfast
- Doing some small task that fills your soul
- Meditating or praying
- Focusing on gratitude
That’s real morning inspiration.
How To Create A Healthy Morning Routine
Most of us can totally support the idea of a healthy morning routine, but how does one make it a reality? Here are three steps:
First, Make the Time
Look, sleep is so very important. Vital, even. I’d never tell you to get less of it.
But what if you cut off a few minutes from the morning and tacked them onto the evening? If you normally go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 6am, try 10:30pm and 5:30am. Same sleep, less morning rush. If you’re a parent, a morning routine is often most successful before the kids get up.
Second, Figure Out What’s Important to You
There are lots of suggestions out there for what to include in your morning routine (in fact, I’ll give you an example of mine down below!). But to make this time valuable for you, you need to decide what’s important for your day:
- Does meditation or prayer ground you for a busy day ahead?
- Will gratitude practices help keep your day in joyful perspective?
- Does exercising help pump you up for the day or does taking a few moments to leisurely read a few pages of a book set you up for success?
- Will preparing a big, healthy breakfast for you and the kids help keep everyone full and focused until lunchtime?
Third, Make Your Morning Checklist and Revise as Necessary
You can’t fool commitment. Once you’ve decided something is worth it, nothing can stop you. So make a morning checklist of your healthy morning routine items and start doing them everyday until your morning routine becomes… well… routine! Then revise as needed.
My Daily Routine
Up until now we have talked all about the theories of a daily schedule and morning routines. And I have offered some suggestions to get your wheels spinning.
But now I want to take you into my daily routine. This way you can have an example of how these theories can practically work in life.
My daily routine won’t necessarily be your ideal daily routine. But take the daily schedule theories, and my daily routine example, and then create something that makes you feel proud at the end of each night.
My Morning Ritual
Each morning starts the same exact way – with my morning ritual. It’s simple. I set aside 5 minutes to sit in a quiet spot and fill out my “Perfect Morning Process” journal. It includes:
- Winning: This is the #1 thing I want to get done today. No matter what sort of life craziness pops up last minute, I can feel like I won the day if I get this single task done.
- Gratitude: I think of three things I’m grateful for. Could be as small as the cool breeze outside; could be as monumental as achieving a huge business goal.
- Meditation: Just 2 minutes of deep belly breathing helps center me for the rest of the day. I normally focus on my three gratitude items or I’ll practice future-pacing.
- Affirmation for the day: Finally, I’ll leave myself with one positive affirmation for the day – something I want to affirm about myself. Think about whatever you need: I stand up for myself, I am enough, or I will begin and will end my day in joy.
I also make sure to drink a full glass of water before I do anything else. Offering your thirsty body some hydration after sleeping is a great way to boost energy.
If you would like a copy of my “Perfect Morning Process” so you can add it to your own morning ritual, sign up for our 30-day challenge. You can find it by scrolling up and it’s the first thing you’ll see in the sidebar to the right.
Nutrition: Morning Smoothie
After my morning ritual, I still have one more phase left to wrap up my full morning routine: breakfast. Starting the day off with a healthy meal is my key to ensuring I stay full and focused. We all know that glazed-over inability to concentrate when we are hungry. That’s not how I want to enter my productive time.
I like to drink a smoothie. Smoothies are super quick and offer a high reward: fruit, veggies, hydration, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and even some protein for sustainable energy all morning.
Productive Time: My Work
Now that I’ve gone through my morning routine and nourished my body with a morning smoothie, my mind is at full capacity to focus on the tasks that need to be accomplished. I start my work early in the day to leave plenty of room for what’s to come. My goal is to focus in on what needs to be accomplished with as few distractions as possible. I love using Brain.fm or Google Play’s “Downtempo Instruments” station for focus music.
Connection: Family Time
Once work is done, I want to be with my people. For me, connection in my day is all about finding time to spend with my husband and kids. If your daily schedule is well thought out, you can actually combine connection with play and physical activity.
Play: Bikes, Fun Reading, OR DIY
In my house, our playtime often involves taking a bike ride with the kids (including them in play helps solidify the idea that enjoying life is a family value). Or perhaps I’ll go for a walk or read a book that has nothing to do with work.
Since we are really into home decor, we also may work on DIY projects for the house. Play for me could be as simple as browsing a home magazine and dreaming up new ideas.
Physical Activity: Gym/Hot Yoga
My husband and I both get to the gym at least 3 times a week. Sometimes he goes in the morning, but sometimes we go together in the afternoon. Then we always do hot yoga on Saturday mornings.
As you can see, a structured gym time is not always in my daily schedule, but I always get some form of physical activity in by the end of the day (those playful bike rides totally count, by the way).
De-Stress: Bath Time
Wrapping up my daily routine is some me-time. My favorite way to completely de-stress from the day is to fill a hot bath. I always include my relaxing essential oils (a few drops of lavender and bergamot is lovely). Then I’ll do some light stretching to help my body unwind before I lie down.
Then it’s time for sleep.
And I have lived a day doing every single thing I both needed and wanted to do. I took time for myself and my family. And I did it all without sacrificing my health.
That’s the beauty of a daily schedule.
Your Daily Schedule
You have all the tools and theories to build your own schedule. What does your daily schedule look like now? Is it sporadic? Unplanned? Left open for detours? If that’s your story, don’t find these answers deflating.
Look at them as a springboard to launch you into a daily schedule that prioritizes your values and dreams.
Now it’s time for you to talk to me. Which of the six daily activities for high performers is greatly missing in your day-to-day activities? Start there. I’d love to hear your answer and how you plan to incorporate that activity into your new daily schedule. Leave your thoughts in a comment below!