How Successful People Spend Monday Mornings

When the sun sets at the weekend’s close, most people are dreading the Monday blues. For the world’s most successful people, however, each Monday morning is a fresh start to limitless potential. Consequently, it’s important that their morning routine sets the right tone for the rest of the week and how they get things done. In this infographic, we’ve searched through the Monday morning habits of some of the world’s business elite to uncover the secrets to success and greater productivity.

First off – and there’s really no way of getting around this – you’ll have to get up early if you’re going to emulate the most successful people in the world. Every one of them knows that time is precious, and getting things done means getting out of bed early. Just ask AOL’s CEO Tim Armstrong, who quite literally leaps out of bed around 5am or 5:15 to start his day. And you can forget about hitting that snooze button says Laura Vanderkam in an interview with TODAY, who has made her name researching the morning routines of the world’s leading movers and shakers: “The snooze button is just a disaster. If you think about it, it’s a battle with yourself. Given that we have a limited supply of willpower in the day, burning it up over what time you’ll get out of bed is a waste”*1.

On the flipside, successful people understand the importance of getting restful sleep – which removes the neurotoxic waste accumulated during waking hours. Too little sleep means this waste remains, and that can destroy successful people. Many politicians and leaders brag about only needing a few hours of sleep each night, but Margaret Thatcher – who is often cited as only sleeping 4 hours each night – developed Alzheimer’s, as did Ronald Reagan and the former UK Prime Minister Harold Wilson. The connection? Too little sleep. And sleep deprivation can be dangerous in other ways, particularly in contributing to CEO burnout and impaired decision making.

To centre themselves and focus, many successful people will meditate or do yoga upon waking. But for dog owners, an early stroll with their furry friends is when they can spend time by themselves. In fact, for the likes of Joanna Coles, Cosmopolitan’s Editor-in-Chief, it’s the only time they get to themselves during the week before dealing with other people, whether that’s colleagues or family. Fortunately her dog Phoebe, a half beagle and half Lab rescue animal, has no snooze button. In an interview with the New York Times, she tells how Phoebe “[will] start walking round the room, and then I will get up and take her out for a walk”*2. Dog-walking has a number of tangible benefits; our brains are in a ‘neuroplastic’ state as we explore our surroundings, particularly if they’re new and unfamiliar, as often occurs when putting our dogs through their paces. This helps to boosts brain power by releasing growth factors which act as fertiliser for the brain, making them able to absorb more information, as well as improving mental health and lowering stress – all important for helping successful people to start their week right and stay at the top of their game.

As the adage goes, whoever fails to prepare only succeeds in preparing to fail. So start your week the righty way by checking out the infographic and tweaking your own Monday morning routine.

How successful people spend Monday mornings

The persons referred to above have not in any way endorsed, approved of or extended an affiliation to DollarsDirect, and are not commercially associated with DollarsDirect.


*1 Murray, R. (2015). Steal the morning habits of the world’s most successful people.

*2 Haughney, C. (2012). Up with Phoebe, the dog.

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