Monday, June 18, 2012

{Monday Inspiration} What Successful People Do in the Morning

While I'm usually up by 8 a.m. (if I've had a good night's rest) every day, I find that I waste a lot of precious time before I get to doing anything substantial. I wake up, hobble over to the computer or turn over and grab the phone from the night stand and start checking emails, blogs, Facebook, random Internet clicking, writing a few posts, and before I know it, it's nearly noon and I feel no more productive than I did three hours earlier.

Well turns out that making the best use of the morning is one trait that most successful people share. They get up early, work on projects, and take care of their own needs first while they still have a fresh batch of willpower. You know, before the boss, the kids, the commute, stress, and exhaustion beat it out of them by the time the evening arrives.

In her ebook, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, Laura Vanderkam surveyed executives, creative types, and people who've learned to optimize their mornings to figure out how we could do the same. Along with research on willpower, she outlines a five-step process to start waking up earlier and squeezing in more productive hours into your day.

1. Track your time and make detailed note of how you spend your hours. This way you'll know where and how you're wasting time and start figuring out how to stop the leakage.

2. Picture how your perfect morning would go. Would you take some time to center yourself, meditate, or work on hobbies and side projects? Last week, I started going out for a quick jog and making time for a hearty breakfast before sitting down to do work. It shakes the sleep off quicker and gets my blood and mind churning.

3. Once you have your perfect morning in mind, think about what it'd take to make it happen. How many hours of sleep do you need in order to still wake up feeling rested? How much time will your new morning activities require?

4. Work towards slowly building this habit and shifting your schedule.

5. Make changes as necessary.

What would your perfect morning look like? Me, if I could wake up by 6 or 7 a.m. each day, I'd love to go out for a run, outline my day and freelance life, set up my blog posts, work on creative projects, and then worry about making money for somebody else.



  1. You want to hear something crazy? I'm up at 4:30am most mornings. If I "sleep in" that means I skip the gym and wake up at 5:30. 6am already feels late for me. That said, I'm not entirely sure where my time goes in the morning after I get out of the house around 7am. Is it strange that although I'm at work, I never feel like I get enough non-work work done?

    1. Oh I remember you told me that and I still can't believe that! At what time do you go to sleep so you're not feeling zombified in the mornings? And I totally feel you on the non-work work. I know I meet my deadlines and get my assignments done, but I never feel like I made much progress on my own to-do's.

  2. I've been trying to do this myself. My ideal morning would involve me getting up at 8:00 am, taking an hour to have breakfast and do all the wake-up things people need to do, then from 9:00am until 10:00am work on writing projects, take a walk with Kero for half an hour, spend half an hour (from 10:30am until 11:00am) working on craft projects, then work on coursework from 11:00am until noon. This would then leave the afternoon free for things like blogs, baking, or anything else I wanted to do.


Say word.