What the Most Successful People do Before Breakfast


A practical guide into how you can tame your mornings and set yourself up for a productive day, all without losing your sanity

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Key Takeaways
  1. In order to get the most out of your mornings:
    1. Track your time
    2. Picture/create the perfect morning
      1. Exercise, painting, good breakfast, meditation, prayer, sketching, practice a skill you want to acquire, work on a project that's always being pushed back, playing with kids, studying, etc.
        1. Think of things you will literally want to jump out of bed for
    3. Think through the logistics
      1. Where can you save time, outsource, partner up, etc.
      2. Pretend you had all the money and time in the world, how would it look
    4. Build the habit
      1. First steps require the most willpower, once you turn it into a habit though you won't even have to think about it
      2. Choose one habit at a time to incorporate
      3. Chart your progress
      4. Do things that put you in a good frame of mind - what you're grateful for, appreciation e-mail, etc.
    5. Tune up as necessary
What I got out of it
  1. A very quick and good read. Vanderkam details how and why to make mornings the most productive part of your day.
  • Use the mornings for personal goals and reflection - exercise is an excellent way to start the day
  • Reflect on the priorities you want to accomplish today
  • You have the most control over your morning schedule - create your ideal rituals
  • If it has to happen, it has to happen first
  • Have 168 hours in a week - break this down hourly so you can determine what and how much time you want to dedicate to your work and different goals
  • People serious about exercise do it in the mornings
  • Will power is a limited resource and it is fresh in the morning - do the difficult things first. Even decisions sap our self-control
  • Majority of lapses in judgment, breaking of diet, etc. occur after 11PM
  • With self-discipline and habit building, can build up your willpower so that everyday tasks do not drain our reserves
  • Habitualize good routines as much as possible!
  • The best morning rituals are those things which don't have to happen and not at a certain time. Things that require internal motivation
  • Nurturing their careers - strategizing and focused work
  • Nurturing relationships - giving family and friends their best
  • Nurturing themselves - exercise and spiritual and creative practices
  • Doing a little bit of your habit will be more beneficial long-term than big bursts of work
  • Networking breakfasts can be extremely productive
  • Use mornings as positive family bonding time - huge breakfasts
  • "A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labors of a spasmodic Hercules"

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