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Are you looking for ways to improve your morning routine? Based on psychologist Ron Friedman studies – it’s a smart move. As Friedman confirms, the first three hours of your day are the most precious for maximized productivity.

“Typically, we have a window of about three hours where we’re really, really focused. We’re able to have some strong contributions in terms of planning, in terms of thinking, in terms of speaking well,” Friedman shares with Harvard Business Review.

For inspiration, take a look at four routines of these successful leaders as well as a clever video spotlighting some of the busiest people out there and what they do to save time:

Exercise and leverage technology to maximize your schedule

Dr. Peter Diamandis, New York Times best-selling author and XPRIZE Foundation founder is on a mission is to open the space frontier for humanity. His personal motto is: “The best way to predict the future is to create it yourself.”

So how does this innovator optimize his morning? In his recent discussion with Josh Ellis at Success, Diamandis explained that his office is equipped with a treadmill that he uses during teleconferences since he values exercise and has a hard time sitting still. He also took the advice of colleagues and is enjoying Audible. It’s the app that is helping Diamandis catch up on his reading and travels with him as he continues chasing his dreams.

Pro tip: Join Jessica Herrin CEO of Stella & Dot, Professor Adam Grant of Wharton, Vicky Schiff Partner at Mosaic Real Estate, James Segil of Co-Founder of Edgecast Networks with others, interviewed by Radiate, as these high-powered people reveal what they are doing to take back time.

Identify and work on your priorities

As one of CNN’s most popular commentators, Mel Robbins has mastered the ability to turn complicated topics into memorable soundbites. She also has a simple and effective morning routine that includes doing a “brain dump” for 5 to 10 minutes without opening that inbox on your phone, laptop or other computer. For Robbins, “This consists of dumping all your projects, to-dos, reminders and priorities onto a piece of paper. Then highlight the top three things on the list that you need to deal with today, things that matter most to you.”

Even if you are facing a full schedule, “this starts your day by focusing on what’s important to you. I make my notes in a 3-by-5-inch notebook that I carry everywhere so I can continue brain-dumping all day.”

“Next—still without visiting that inbox—open your calendar and find a 30-minute block in your day when you can focus on your top three things uninterrupted. It doesn’t matter when that block happens; find the time and schedule it.”

Work on the hardest task first

In his own words, Niraj Ranjan Rout, Co-Founder and CEO of Hiver, shares, “I am a meditation person – a few minutes in the morning really helps clear the head. Before starting for work, I make sure to check my email and plan a top-heavy day – the difficult tasks first.”

An important strategy and reminder from Niraj, “It is crucial to have a clear picture of what you want to achieve during the day – before you leave home.”

Plan a task that you will look forward to working on

In her recent Entrepreneur article, Amna Shamim writes, “When you’re dreading the hard work you have to do, do something fun first in order to ease into work and to have something, initially, that you look forward to. I alternate my ‘boring/hard’ tasks with ones I find fun or easy.”

“An example? I love reading articles about high-level SEO tactics, but don’t feel the same way about keyword research for clients. I alternate articles I’ve stockpiled with finding 10 solid keywords.”

“For every 10 keywords I can find that meet my stringent criteria, I get to pick a fun article to consume. This is my personal method of combining positive reinforcement with actual productivity.”

Now it’s your turn

In the comments section that follows, take a moment to share one of your favorite morning routines that has helped you be more successful.

 

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Kelly Isley is an international strategist, business leader, columnist, author, and pilot with more than 21 years of experience in the aerospace, finance, engineering, and healthcare industries. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and covers global workforce, workplace and leadership topics. If you have any suggestions for future articles please contact Kelly via email or twitter.