Last week I came across an article on Fast Company and I was immediately intrigued by the title. The article was an excerpt from a book titled, “What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast.” The author, Laura Vanderkam, gives a bird’s eye view of how CEO’s, School Dean’s, and other highly successful people spend their mornings. My initial thought was that successful people take advantage of the early morning hours to be extremely productive prior to corporate meetings, interviews, or travel. I assumed that CEO’s are slaves to their jobs. For the most part though, the most successful people take the opportunity to rise before the sun in order to balance their lives.
Working moms wake up early with their kids, and dedicate the early morning hours to connect with their little ones. CEO’s rise before the sun to take care of their bodies by running four miles, and by eating a nutritious breakfast. Others wake up early to focus in on their spiritual life; so they pray, read, or meditate prior to doing anything else that day. Each successful person had to make a decision about what was most important to them, and they chose the morning to allow time for those areas of their life.
Laura Vanderkam asks her readers to imagine what a great morning would look like in their life. She goes on to encourage her readers to then take the steps to build that habit into your daily routine. My biggest take away from this short book was that we each own the morning. No job owns our morning, no spouse or child owns what you do in the morning (except if you still have an infant at home). Just like in personal finance we encourage people to pay ourselves first, you also can pay yourself first with how you spend your morning. The morning is your time to spend as you wish. Use that time to strategize your career plan, to connect spiritually, to contribute to your health through yoga, or to spend more time with those closest to you. Whatever your morning looks like I encourage you to rise before the sun, and pay yourself first.
I imagine my mornings as a time to clear my head and think about how I want to spend my day. I might not take the authors advice and do the same thing every morning to form a habit, but their may be a season of life when that is needed. I will take her advice and take advantage of my time to either run before the day begins, or I may make coffee and think about where I currently stand in my career, and where I want to be in a year or two.
The stories and suggestions in this book are a great resource for how you could spend your morning, and it will show you how a few changes in your daily routine might make you more successful in life. The book will only cost you $2.99. I am not paid to do this review, but I was so encouraged by the book that I felt the need to share.