Morning Routines of Successful People compared – 6 Essentials

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For a long time, I was concerned with what makes me personally different from people who have a lot of success in life. I mean, we all have 24 hours in a day. However, how do some people manage to be so much more productive during their time than others? If you’re thinking about money, employees, and knowledge right now, you’re completely wrong: because it’s the right morning routine that makes all the difference.

Because similar to building a house, we can already build the right foundation for our day with an efficient start to it. Because that’s the only way we can exploit the full potential of our day, making us that much more productive.

To find the perfect morning routine of successful people, I took a closer look at the morning habits of the success-winning Bill Gates, Tim Ferris, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Elon Musk and compared them. So in this article, let’s discover together what these people crowned with success have in common in the morning.

But first, let me explain in more detail what a healthy morning routine is all about, and give you tips and ideas on why a morning routine is so important to a person’s general success.

Why is a morning routine so important for success?

It is important to follow an efficient morning routine in order to exploit the full potential of your day. This is because optimal planning and a lucrative mentality in the morning is the only way to create an effective routine that will lead to success in the long run. So if you start your day prepared, you set a lasting foundation and positive energy for greater productivity.

Where there is a will, there is a way. And willpower is exactly what is so important in a morning routine. Likewise, pay special attention to the “routine” part of the word. Because until your morning routine actually leads you to success, it must already be a daily habit for you for quite some time.

The most effective morning routines of successful people compared

Now that we know why a morning routine is so important for success, we naturally want to learn how the most successful people out there spend their mornings. So below, you’ll find the key points these people have in common and helpful tips you can draw from them for your own personal morning routine.

In the following two tables, you’ll, therefore, find a comparison of the most important aspects of our celebrities’ morning routines. Then, we’ll go over each of the aspects and why each item is so important to your morning habits.

Bill GatesTim FerrisOprah Winfrey
Getting up7 amBetween 9 - 10 amBetween 6 - 6.20 am
TranquilityDoing the Washing upMeditation, Drinking TeaMeditation
BreakfastWith his wife; sometimes he skippeslittle breakfastBreakfast and day plan review
MovementTennis20 - 90 Minutes WorkoutWalking the dogs, workout
To-Do-ListPlanning with notes, completely planned day5-Minutes JournalingDay plan during breakfast
InformationDVD Series, Books, and NewspaperDaily, but not part of his morning routineReads The Daily Bowl of Saki
Steve JobsElon Musk
Getting up6 am7 am
TranquilityWorking for one hour before family wakes upDrinking a coffee and "critical Emails"
BreakfastBreakfast with familyOften just coffee
Movement/Lifting weights & treadmill (not necessarily in the morning and not regularly).
To-Do-ListDuring Office hoursPlans the rest of the day
InformationDuring Office hoursHistory audiobooks and podcasts (not necessarily in the morning, not regularly)

Getting up early

getting up early, man in bed reads business newspaper

Getting up early in the morning is often equated with success and productivity. However, that’s not entirely true. You can get up at 5 in the morning and still not get anything useful done. But you can also get up at 8 am and use the full potential of your morning. In general, though, the trend is to get up early, despite everything.

This is because our brain power is usually most active in the morning. With the freshly recharged energy of a restful night’s sleep, we can get to work fresh and get the most out of ourselves and our day.

At what time exactly you should get up, however, depends mainly on you and your body. I myself, am more of a night owl and can concentrate on my work much better in the late afternoon, sometimes even at night, while I can’t get a single word down on paper early in the morning. I’ve tried getting up earlier for a long time (and going to sleep earlier accordingly), but always found that I’m somehow less productive. In the meantime, however, I’ve settled on getting up at 7:30 am and it works great for me.

As you can see from this example, you should find your own rhythm at which you work best. Whether it’s 5 am or 8 am is up to you and your personal circumstances.

Extra tips for getting up early

  • Slowly get used to your new wake-up time. Instead of setting your alarm clock for 5 am every morning, try to get up half an hour earlier every week. This will help your body adjust to your new time rhythm and you won’t be overwhelmed by fatigue the first few days.
  • If possible, you should also not deviate too far from your new sleeping habits at the weekend. This is the only way your body can really get used to the new wake-up time and make it easier to wake up during the week.
  • Getting up early if you work outside of your home is also a great way to get some productive things at home done before you leave for work.

Quietness and Tranquility

woman with headphones, tranquility

Many of the successful people out there take a little time for themselves first thing every morning after they get up. So some me-time is not only super important for your mental health, but it can also help you wake up and plan your day.

How you spend this time of rest is up to you. In the preceding tables, you can see that even our millionaires use their time quite differently. While Tim Ferris and Oprah Winfrey swear by meditation, for many, it is simply a cup of coffee or tea or a good book. In contrast, Bill Gates takes time for his thoughts while doing the dishes. No matter what activity you choose, take a few minutes each day just for yourself.

Extra tips for quietness in the morning

  • For many, it helps to take this time in the morning before roommates or family members get up. This is the only way to ensure that your me-time is not interrupted by others. If you can’t get up before everyone else, it’s worth going to another room, the balcony or garden.
  • It is recommended that your morning me-time happens without checking your phone. Otherwise, all too quickly otherwise we get lost in the news of the day or scroll pointlessly through social media. During this time of the day, you should instead focus on yourself, your plans, and desires.
  • Many also use this time to exercise gratitude. Write down or think about the things you are grateful for. These can be things you have already accomplished or people or events in your life for which you are thankful. Gratitude not only makes you happier in general, but it can also be motivating for your new day.


Yoga, exercise, relaxation

Exercise in the morning can not only be refreshing and wake you up but also release extra energy for the day ahead. As you can see from our celebrities, however, the types of exercise can look very different. Whether you prefer to go for a walk, get on the mat for a little yoga session, or a home workout, head to the nearest gym, or go for a run is entirely up to you.

Exercise also doesn’t have to happen in the morning. You might prefer to use your morning for concentration and take time later in the day for a little exercise to clear your head. I myself have tried countless times to move my daily yoga exercises to the morning hours. However, as you may have gleaned, I’m anything but a morning person, so I have more energy for exercise in the late afternoon or early evening.


healthy breakfast
A healthy breakfast can give new energy for the day ahead

For many, the first is considered the most important meal of the day and should therefore not be skipped under any circumstances. After all, you can recharge your batteries with a healthy breakfast and start the day with renewed concentration.

Whether you eat breakfast right after you get up or take a breakfast break later is entirely up to you and your preferences. The only important thing is that your breakfast is healthy. Fresh fruit, muesli, or whole grains are all too suitable in this regard to provide long-lasting energy and thus more concentration and productivity during the morning.


read book, to do list

Another item on our list is the writing of a to-do list. This doesn’t have to be a traditional list though, it can be a calendar, journal, or digital document or app. The only important thing is that you know exactly what needs to be done and when by planning your day ahead. You should also make clear which is going to be the most important task of the day.

Successful people always keep full track of their tasks and to-dos or even hire someone to keep track of their activities and keep them informed of what is going on.

Extra tips About your To-Do-List

  • Finish the most important task of the day first. If your activities have the same level of importance, you should do the most annoying task first. After finishing the task you felt least like doing is gone, you’ll feel more productive doing the rest of the tasks on your list.
  • For many, a to-do list in a good old notebook or calendar helps, as crossing off completed tasks can be very satisfying.
  • Some swear by keeping a bullet journal, as transcribing notes happens in an even more creative way


woman from behind, reading a book

You never stop learning. This is also proven by our five successful people, who provide themselves with the latest information on a daily basis. This information can be quite different in nature. While some follow the daily news, some ignore the news completely to turn to more positive information.

Whether reading a non-fiction book or guidebook, watching an interesting documentary, webinars, courses, podcasts or audiobooks is up to you. Look specifically for the information that interests you and will help you get ahead.

However, information seeking and daily education don’t always have to happen during the morning hours. Build them into your day as it suits you best.

Extra tip on Information

  • Podcasts and audiobooks can also be consumed during other activities, such as your daily way to work or while cleaning, making them super convenient.
  • Don’t get lost in learning as you might forget the doing part.

Which of these steps would you like to incorporate into your morning routine from now on? Or maybe you even have a tip of your own for us that will make our mornings more productive? Let us know below in the comments!

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