New York Times Confirms High Achievers Are Out to Make the Rest of Us Look Bad


What is your morning routine? Do you get up at 6 a.m., run 12 miles, do a face mask, cook a three-course breakfast, clean your house, and then jog to work? Or do you hit “sleep” 50 times until the neighbors knock on your wall to complain about the alarm? If the former sounds like you, then congratulations—you fit the profile of a “high achiever,” per the New York Times. If the latter sounds familiar, you are me, and your greatest life achievement will consist of beating the basilisk in a Harry Potter computer game.

Indeed, New York Times “Smarter Living” newsletter writer Benjamin Spall spoke to 300 high achievers about their morning routines—a high achieving move in of itself, since that’s about 290 more people than I’d interview for any one piece—and found to probably no one’s surprise that successful people somehow manage to both get a lot of sleep and wake up very early. The average wake up time for Spall’s interviewees was 6:27 a.m.. But, they still manage to get between seven and 9 hours of sleep per night, which leaves very little time for 4 a.m. panic attacks over whether or not the air conditioner is filled with poison spores.

As for what gets fancy people’s days going:

Most successful people carve out time in their morning to commit to things that make them feel relaxed, energized and motivated. That can mean working out, reading, meditating or just spending time with your loved ones.
Your morning routine helps to ground you, and using it thoughtfully will help to set the tone for the rest of your day.
Marie Kondo, the organizing consultant and author of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” told me that when she wakes up in the morning she immediately opens the windows to let in fresh air, a practice she has done since she was a child. She also purifies the house by burning incense and, needless to say, she tidies her house before leaving for the day.

The morning routines do travel:

While it might not always be possible to keep your full morning routine in place when you’re away from home, it is possible to have a travel-ready routine that is always there when you need it. If you’re staying with family, instead of heading to the local gym for a couple hours in the morning consider going for a short jog around the block instead. If you’re stuck in a hotel room with few options for breakfast, consider finding the closest grocery store to piece together something loosely resembling your favorite at-home breakfast.

My full morning routine consists exclusively of not waking up until it is afternoon, then eating a bag of Goldfish crackers, then watching television until it gets dark and I consider writing something. This routine is both consistent and it travels well! Look at us, being all successful.

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