Barbara Corcoran’s essential morning habits for a productive day

As a serial entrepreneur and investor in ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Barbara Corcoran is much busier than most. But she will always make time for her morning routine.

“On an important day, my routine is no different than unimportant days,” Corcoran tells CNBC Make It.

Having a morning routine is a proven way to increase productivity, boost energy and increase your chances of success.

Here are three exercises Barbara Corcoran does for a productive day.

Three days a week, she works out with her trainer in the morning before going to work, she says.

“That’s what saves me. It’s more for my mental state than my physical well-being,” says Corcoran.

Corcoran’s feelings are backed up by science. In fact, just 10 minutes of physical activity a week can make you significantly happier, research shows.

That’s what saves me. It’s more for my mental state than my physical well-being.

Barbara Korcoran

Real estate entrepreneur and star in “Shark Tank”

According to a study published in November 2022 in Nature Communications, exercise can also increase your alertness for the next day.

“The higher the amount of physical activity, the more awake and alert you feel the next day,” Raphael Vallat, a postdoctoral researcher at the Center for Human Sleep Science at UC Berkeley, tells CNBC Make It.

Like an “early riser,” Corcoran heads to the office after her morning training sessions: “I get to the office early because I do my best work before noon.”

To spice up her days, she also tries to dress well, which can be good for her self-esteem.

According to Tess Brigham, a psychotherapist, wearing something that makes you feel powerful is a great way to look and feel confident.

The clothes you wear “can improve your performance and enhance the impression other people make of you,” says Brigham.

“There’s something I do every night for a successful day that follows,” says Corcoran. “I would never go to bed without a to-do list for the next day.”

But for a smooth day, she groups her tasks into key categories:

  1. “A” tasks are “never the things you want to do”, but they are essential and must be done: these are “the things that move your business forward, the things you don’t want to face (and) the things you really need to say to someone, even firing people,” she says.
  2. “B” and “C” items are everything else, but are less important than the “A” tasks.

“I go in[and]get my A’s out of the way the next morning,” says Corcoran. “Because I know I can procrastinate all day without doing the A’s. But if I procrastinate on the B’s and C’s, it’s of little use.”

It keeps me productive on the things that matter.

Barbara Korcoran

Real estate entrepreneur and star in “Shark Tank”

Having a to-do list keeps Corcoran on track, and she finds that her method of organizing tasks by importance helps her stay accountable.

“It keeps me productive on the things that matter. And I mixed the personal stuff and the business stuff in that list,” she says. “That’s life. Everything is mixed now.”

Disclosure: CNBC owns the exclusive off-network cable rights to “Shark Tank.”

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