• Successful people tend to share certain traits and habits.
  • This is true with Silas Adekunle, the inventor of the world’s first gaming robot and Alkko Dangote, the wealthiest man on the continent.
  • Both men have figured out the secret to having a productive day.

Having a great productive day often starts with your morning routine.

This is the code that many highly successful people like Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote and world-renowned robotics engineer Silas Adekunle have figured out.

Silas Adekunle and Robot
Silas Adekunle and Robot

By doing the following things every morning, they can get ahead of the competition and set themselves up for success every day:

  • Wake up early

Dangote gets out of bed early every day. According to the 2017 KPMG CEO Outlook, the president of the Dangote Group rises before 5:30 a.m. and does his prayers.

He shed more light on his morning routine in a 2012 lecture at the Lagos Business School, according to How We Made It Africa. Dangote said his work days start around 5 am, adding that he tries to get a 6 am haircut if needed.

Aliko Dangote during a visit to the fertilizer plant under construction in Lagos State. Credit: ANDREW ESIEBO FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
Aliko Dangote during a visit to the fertilizer plant under construction in Lagos State. Credit: ANDREW ESIEBO FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK
ANDREW ESIEBO FOR BLOOMBERG BUSINESSWEEK

Adekunle also believes in waking up early even though his timing depends on his schedule.

He shared his morning routine with Business Inside SSA during a recent visit to Lagos state for the Techplus 2019 edition, themed, “Digital Social Innovation. Why DSI.”

Silas Adekunle, CEO of Awari, speaking at the Techplus event in Lagos
Silas Adekunle, CEO of Awari, speaking at the Techplus event in Lagos

In his words, “It depends, my timetable is actually quite crazy sometimes and some days are relaxed, so no morning is actually ever the same. Sometimes I wake up early to workout. Other times I wake up to go straight into a meeting.”

Other successful people who believe the key to their success is waking early include Apple CEO Tim Cook, Oprah Winfrey and Michelle Obama.

ALSO READ: Here is how Google Country Manager, Juliet Ehimuan, sets herself up for success every morning

  • Exercise 

After waking up early, Dangote reportedly goes on a 10 kilometres run. Emphasizing the importance of exercise, he said, “Exercise is better than any medicine I can take. Exercise and sleep.”

Fellow Nigerian Adekunle agrees that exercise is one of the keys to success. “For me, that physical fitness is a part of life, it gives you discipline,” he told Business Insider SSA.

“Most of everything I do is intense. I do a lot of heel sprains, gymnastics, dancing, things like that,” he added.

Silas Adekunle talks to Business Insider SSA at the 2019 Techplus event at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos
Silas Adekunle talks to Business Insider SSA at the 2019 Techplus event at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos
  • Additional productivity tips from Silas Adekunle

The robotics engineer offered some extra on how to set yourself up for success every day.

He recommends meditation and planning saying, “I try to have some meditation which is time alone. I always need time to reset, which for some people is meditation, do whatever works for you. Usually, I plan on the fly so the night before I think about what I need to achieve for the rest of the day. In the morning I know what I want to do already with enough timing for interruptions and things like that.”

Adekunle concluded by saying, “But generally, if you finished the night with a plan for the next day, then you use that time in the morning to reset yourself and then at night you go through it to everything and ask yourself if you went through everything you wanted to do that day.”