Successful people are a rare breed. They’re willing to do what others are not, and they know the importance of practicing good habits daily. In fact, they’re almost obsessive about it. While you may think they’re crazy, they know adhering to these simple daily disciplines is what makes their day super productive. For most successful people, one of their most important daily disciplines is their morning routine.

The morning is one of the most important times of your day. I don’t know about you, but I’m much sharper at 7:30 in the morning than I am at 3:30 in the afternoon. That’s my time before swimming through a flooded email inbox, putting out fires, meeting with dozens of clients, and running a company.

That’s why it’s so important to make the most of your morning. You need to craft a routine that sets you up for successful day – that gets you motivated, energized, and feeling like you’ve accomplished something before you even step foot in the office. Otherwise, how is your attitude going to be for the rest of the day?

Supercharge Your Morning Routine: 9 Things Successful People do Before 8:00 AM

I took the time to perfect my morning routine. I learned what other successful people did with their mornings, and modified them to fit my lifestyle. This is the one daily discipline I try to stick to as much as possible. Although sometimes, “life” does get in the way. But I’ve realized that on the mornings I follow it, my day is much more productive.

To help you find inspiration for crafting your ultimate morning routine, I want to share mine with you. Here are nine things that successful people do before 8:00 am:

1. Get up. A common denominator among successful people is that they’re early risers. Forming this habit can be hard at first, but if you stick with it, it will become second nature. Waking up early ensures that you’ll maximize your morning routine, because you’ll have more time to do it. You’ll have more “you” time, which after all, is the whole point of your morning routine. However, it’s important not to sacrifice your sleep simply to wake up early. Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep at night. Not only is it important for your health, but it makes getting up early easier to do.

2. Learn something new. It’s easy to forget about this important ingredient in the formula for success. Luckily, the morning is the perfect setting in which to work on your personal development. Mornings can bring peace and quiet, before the kids wake up and the noise from the daily grind starts. Take advantage of your morning by using it to read 15 pages of a good book, catch up on your favorite blog, or read the latest article written by one of your mentors. (LIFE HACK – If you exercise on a stationary machine like a bike, treadmill, or elliptical, reading is a great way to make the time go faster.)

3. Exercise. If you’re like me, when I come home, I’m in family mode. The kids have activities to get to and homework to do, and I want to spend time with my wife. The last thing I want to do – let alone have time to do – is exercise. That’s why the morning is one of the most ideal times to get your work-out checked off your list. Not only that, but exercise is proven to boost your mental functioning, energy and improve your mood. A morning workout can mean more energy and clarity during the day. Plus, your health is important – make it a priority, even if you can only spare 20 minutes.

4. Prioritize your tasks/goals for the day. Think about what you have on the agenda for the day. What are your important “must dos?” One of the first things I do in the morning is write down my priority actions for the day. I know that even if I only get those things done, I still had a productive day. This helps you walk into your day with a game plan, and prevents you from getting lost in things that can detract from your productivity.

5. Write down one thing you’re grateful for. Keeping a positive outlook on life, being successful, it all starts with gratitude. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative – to only see the problems, or what could be when you look at your life. It’s important to consciously stop and remind yourself of all the good things you have in your life. Keep a gratitude journal, and every morning, write down one thing that you’re grateful for. It doesn’t need to be complicated. Then at the end of the year, you’ll have identified 365 things that you’re grateful for. Sounds like the foundation for a happy life to me.

6. Don’t look at your phone. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in the morning is waking up and immediately looking at your phone. Checking emails, looking at social media, are things that can throw off your morning routine. Remember, this is your “you” time – it’s okay to shut the rest of the world out for a few hours. But if you’re one of those people who just can’t resist the glow of your screen, try to modify when you check it. Set yourself a time limit, and say that you’re not going to check your phone until 7:30.

7. Eat breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – in case you haven’t heard that before. I’ll be the first to admit I always struggle with this one. But, making sure that you eat breakfast is almost like working out. It can boost mental functioning, energy and focus throughout the day. It’s also proven that people who eat breakfast eat less during the day, and tend to weigh less than people who don’t. Even if it’s a quick protein shake or breakfast smoothie, try and squeeze it in.

8. Cross one thing off your personal to-do list. Sometimes, finding the right work life balance can be difficult. This is another instance where your morning can be useful. Take this time to try and cross one thing off your personal to-do list – whether it’s to get that week-old laundry put away, spend time with your spouse, take out the trash, or empty the dishwasher. Knowing that you can go home at the end of the day without a million things to do around the house can be great for productivity.

9. Finally, get to work. Now, it’s 8:00. It’s time to work – to step out into the world, answer emails, take phone calls, and grind.

Why Does it Matter to You?

Sticking to a morning routine means you’ll be practicing habits that foster good health, higher productivity, and the ability to handle situations thrown your way during the day.

By no means is the routine I’ve laid out here the end all be all solution. These are simply common denominators I’ve found in the morning routines of other successful people I admire. I then built a routine I could apply to my life.

Your morning routine will be unique to you. Maybe nighttime is the best part of the day for you to exercise. Maybe you like to start working at 7:30. Maybe you read on your lunch break. Whatever your simple disciplines may look like, the point is to make a morning routine that fits with your lifestyle, and that you can stick to. That ensures you’re practicing good habits from the moment you wake up, and that your day will be as productive as possible. It may take a few attempts to find what will work best for you, but once you find your groove, the positive impact it can have on your entire day is incredible.