Book Review: What the most successful people do before breakfast
Do books need to be two, three, four or five hundred pages long? Is there a prerequisite?
I know that the ‘thud factor’ gives credibility – lots of pages equates to lots of knowledge printed on lots of pages. However, I fear that a big book scares off potential readers. As I near my halfway mark of reading 52 books in 52 weeks, I’ve identified how to read quickly and how to create the time and space to read.
So, I was totally surprised to find that my choice of reading this week was completed in one night. A quick purchase on my Kindle based on the title was only 50 swipes. Complete with a few key lessons – enough to reflect on for the week.
Laura Vanderkam, author of What the Most Successful People do before Breakfast presents her findings of what others do to make the most of their day.
My daughter Jennifer was perplexed with the cover of the book, a cup of coffee. She doesn’t like the smell of coffee and concerned that she’ll be unable to be successful! So, let's get beyond the cover and I’ll share what I learnt … very quickly!
Depending on what time you rise, and the time you have breakfast, there is a space to fill with activities which some say enables them to be successful.
We all have our own routines, rituals, quirky habits and a mindful of thoughts in the morning, so here’s your opportunity to TICK off if you’re aiding or hindering your successfulness:
· Wake at 5am – or at a time which gives you an extra 60 to 90 minutes to use wisely
· Reflect and or Pray on a daily basis
· Prioritise items to tackle for the day
· Avoid social media and especially email until you’ve completed a ‘chunk’ of real work
· Journal your thoughts
· Exercise - Run, walk, yoga or gym work
How many ticks do you have?
We all have 168 hours in our week and ‘successful’ people use a proportion of these hours a day to nurture their career, relationships and their self.
New research (prior to 2012) identified that self-discipline is in abundance after a good night’s sleep and depletes during the day. I think we’ve already worked that out – I know I can kick off with a healthy breakfast and then arrive at the evening snacking on potato chips while I cook dinner …. 12 hours later! We lapse as the day progresses and whilst some can squeeze in exercise after work or during their lunch break … the research tells us that morning is best; we are fresh and our internal motivation is in abundance to tackle tasks which the outside world isn’t demanding.
The best morning rituals are activities that don’t have to happen and certainly don’t have to happen at a specific hour. These are activities that require internal motivation. These are generally activities which have long term benefits.
So, if you had minimal ticks a few suggestions were offered to change:
· Tracking your time – identify what you’re doing with your 168 hours a week
· Picture your perfect morning – visualise what it would look like to be effective in the morning
· Think through the logistics – what can you change around you to make it work
· Build the habit – it’s like a muscle … keep practising
· Tune up as necessary – keep correcting and get your early morning working
This is a seriously short book, however, it’s straight to the point and very implementable. I’ve already adopted the practice of ‘no social media’ in the morning until I’m having a coffee at 10.30am. (Let me tell you, when I do it, it's magic, however, it’s very difficult to change your habits!)
I’m endeavouring to read 52 Business/Professional/Personal Development books in 52 weeks. Yep, that’s one a week. As I read each book, I’ll share my thoughts, learning and recommendations. If there is a book that you’ve been meaning to read, let me know and I’ll read it for us!