Exact time successful people wake up
FOR the past five years, author Benjamin Spall has been picking the brains of hundreds of highly successful people.
The US writer has interviewed everyone from "business leaders and university presidents to Olympians, fashion models and artists" - and has now penned a book, My Morning Routine: How Successful People Start Every Day Inspired, with fellow writer Michael Xander.
In a recent New York Times article listing his findings, Mr Spall said while there was not one single "best" morning routine that would work for every single person, highly successful people tended to have a few surprising things in common.
One of those common denominators was their wake-up time - and it's bad news for those of us who aren't exactly morning people.
Mr Spall, who has interviewed more than 300 people about their morning routines, found the average time they woke up each morning was 6.27am.
But he also said successful people tended to experiment to find the "sweet spot that works for them" when it comes to setting their alarms.
"For many of us, the time we wake up depends almost entirely on when we need to be at work, school or elsewhere," Mr Spall wrote.
"This often means waking up as late as possible to maximise sleep time, with the only goal being to make it out of the door on time to avoid being late for wherever we need to be first thing.
"But experimenting with your wake-up time gives you the space you need to enjoy your mornings."
Another key finding was that successful people usually set aside time each morning with an activity that relaxes, energises or motivates them.
For example, organisation guru and author Marie Kondo told Mr Spall she always opens her windows as soon as she wakes up each morning to let in fresh air.
"She also purifies the house by burning incense and, needless to say, she tidies her house before leaving for the day," Mr Spall wrote.
Other pointers the reporter has gleaned over the years include the importance of getting enough sleep every night, and adapting your routine to suit different situations, such as while travelling.
His subjects are also careful to allow themselves breaks in their routine without beating themselves up if they slip back into bad habits for the odd day or two.
But for those hoping to break a bad habit for good, Mr Spall shared a hack from none other than Jerry Seinfeld.
Apparently, the actor has a theory about habits that requires a person not to "break the chain".
If he wants to force himself to complete a task every day, he holds himself accountable by marking each day the task was done with a large red X on a prominent wall calendar.
That way, you can clearly see your achievements, which in theory makes you more likely to stick to the habit.
Mr Spall said while most people were rushed in the morning, a regular routine set the tone for the day ahead.
"The choices we make during the first hour or so of our morning often determine what the rest of the day will look like," he wrote.
"Will your morning routine grant you a day full of productivity and peace of mind? Or will you be looking at an eight-hour stretch of haphazard work?"