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What Do You Get Done Before Breakfast?

Success_before_breakfast_book_coverI just learned something important about time management that I did not already know! After 11+ years in this industry of organizing and productivity, I did not fully realize this:

Some hours of the day are better than others. And those hours are MORNING hours.

I did know that people have different times of the day when they have more energy and that you should follow your rhythms. And I have heard Stephen Covey say “First Things First” and many people teach that we should do our highest priority items before lower priority ones.

But a new eBook by Laura Vanderkam, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, finally explained to me WHY the morning hours are literally better than others.

She says, “New research into that old-fashioned concept of willpower is showing that tasks that require self-discipline are simply easier to do while the day is young.” The study she describes shows that we basically have a tank of self-discipline that runs low as the day progresses. Our discipline kind of goes out the window once we exercise it throughout the day, and later we get lax. This is one reason why so many people who successfully exercise regularly tend to do it in the morning.

In addition, in our connected world, the earlier morning hours are the only ones when most people are NOT online and trying to get in touch with you. These are the hours over which you typically have most control and are not at the whims of as many other people’s agendas. Great point.

This short eBook is easy to read (you can read it during breakfast!), and it contained lots of light-bulb moments, even for me, someone who thought I’d heard it all. I love the idea that “seizing your mornings is the equivalent of that sound financial advice to pay yourself before you pay your bills.”

What did YOU do today before breakfast? Share in the comments! (Today I exercised for an hour, watered plants, worked on the treadmill– watch my video about workwalking here— and did some reading, in case you wanted to know!)

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8 Comments

Brooke {Slow Your Home}

This is great – I’ve always been a big believer in starting the day off well and productively. Now I know there’s a reason for it!
This morning I’ve written two blog posts, set up an email campaign, a load of laundry and a series of stretches. Feeling good!

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Launi

I answered business email, made my bed, changed a load of landry, showered dressed and put on my face. But I know that if I’d have gotten up earlier I’d have a few more hours to play with in the day. Thanks for this. :}

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Lorie

So happy to hear about your productive starts Brooke & Launi! Let us if you have any tips or tricks to getting things done first thing.

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Jasmine

I have to admit, I’m a night owl and super-resistant to this idea, even though I’ve heard it many times (note the time I’m posting this). Then again, I have a huge problem with productivity, so I’m not one to dispute this idea. I find that I’m most productive when I’ve gone to bed early-ish (10 or 11) and woken in the middle of the night unable to sleep. Then, from about 2-3 AM to 5-6 AM I get tons of stuff done. I just like the dark, which probably suggests I should get up at 4. 🙂 I live in a hot climate and deeply hate heat, which could be part of it, but I’m this way in winter, too. Not much for caffeine, either, so it’s not that.

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Debbie Balsam

What if you’re not a morning person? I hate to move about too much befor 10 or 11.

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Donna Knight

Morning has always been my favorite time of day, seems like the only time when I’m not disturbed and can think clearly. I agree self-discipline is always at its highest, I would like to find a way to harness that self-discipline and keep it in place in the evening. Any ideas?

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Grace

I think this is a great idea. Although I am not a morning person I do feel better when I get it over and done with before the day starts!! I am going to try this out for the next few days.

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