Release Date: June 2012
Source: personal library
Mornings are a madcap time for many of us. We wake up in a haze – often after hitting snooze a few times. Then we rush around to get ready and out the door so we can officially start the day. Before we know it, hours have slipped by without us accomplishing anything beyond downing a cup of coffee, dashing off a few emails, and dishing with our coworkers around the water cooler. By the time the workday wraps up, we’re so exhausted and defeated that any motivation to accomplish something in the evening has vanished.
But according to time management expert Laura Vanderkam, mornings hold the key to taking control of our schedules. If we use them wisely, we can build habits that will allow us to lead happier, more productive lives.
Drawing on real-life anecdotes and scientific research that shows why the early hours of the day are so important, Vanderkam reveals how successful people use mornings to help them accomplish things that are often impossible to take care of later in the day. While many of us are still in bed, these folks are scoring daily victories to improve their health, careers, and personal lives without sacrificing their sanity. For instance, former PepsiCo chairman and CEO Steve Reinemund would rise at 5:00 a.m., run four miles, pray, and eat breakfast with his family before heading to work to run a Fortune 500 company.
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast is a fun, practical guide that will inspire you to rethink your morning routine and jump-start your life before the day has even begun. (Goodreads)
That being said, I did take away a few helpful hints. While I’m never going to get up at 5am to exercise, I can see the reasoning behind tackling the most important tasks first thing in the morning, when there’s less chance of constant interruptions.
According to Vanderkam, the most successful people use their mornings to:
- Nurture their careers – strategizing and focusing on work
- Nurture their relationships – giving their families their best
- Nurture themselves – exercise, spiritual and creative practices
- Track your time – keep a time log, sort of like a food journal when you’re dieting. Track at least one week in order to get a handle of how you spend your time.
- Picture your perfect morning – after you know how you’re spending your time, decide how you want to structure your “perfect” morning.
- Think through the logistics – how will your perfect morning integrate into your current schedule?
- Build the habit – practice makes perfect! Building new habits take time, so incorporate only one new habit to your routine at a time.
- Tune up as necessary – be flexible. If something isn’t working, try something else.