2012 Reading

Reading 2012: What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

July 18, 2012

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings–and Life is an ebook  short enough that most successful people could read it before breakfast. And if you’re like me and not currently maximizing early mornings like the author describes, you can just read it before going to bed.

This was a very brief, yet motivating and inspiring read on personal productivity. Much of it fell into the sphere of general knowledge and common sense, but as always, common sense is not always common practice, and general knowledge in condensed form with precision can be highly inspirational and just what one needs to make the change.

My husband has long made this a practice, though with variations and flexibility as we have gone through different seasons of marriage and family together. Currently, he rises several hours before the rest of the family, and makes use of those productive hours and takes a little break for breakfast time and exercising (and helping me/the girls right after we had our baby and while I was in the difficult stages of pregnancy/morning sickness).

With a nursing baby who has not yet grown any teeth and who has many growth spurts to encounter over the coming year, I’m in a season of life when it can still be harmful to set unrealistic expectations in this area. The author, a mother herself, does a relatively good job of working through this. (She also acknowledges that in some situations, evenings/nighttime may be an ideal time to get things done.) This read came at a great time, as my infant is sleeping somewhat predictably, and I see this is a goal I can at least aim for in the near future, while giving myself grace and reexamining the suitability of this pursuit quite frequently.

One particular point that stood out to me was the way in which willpower declines as we go throughout the day. Our reserve is much stronger at the start of the day, and this can be utilized to do important projects and habits that would be easier to resist or put off later in the day. An example that was given was that most diet rules and late-night gorging is done late at night. (Not many people are found eating out of the ice cream tub first thing in the morning. :)) People are also more prone to stick with their exercise goals if done early in the morning.

For those with children, Vanderkam also emphasized how making the most of mornings can aid in creating more and better family times, both in freeing up morning family time to be more relaxed and allowing families to share more time together in the evening.

The book is just under $3.00, so it’s a nice, short motivational read. (Though to some it may seem a bit short to justify the expense.)

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  • Johanna Hanson July 20, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    I thought it was a bit short, too, but still motivating.

    Another topic for another day, but, that is one thing I find frustrating with the ebook craze. There is no standard for how long ebooks are, and some of them are pretty pricey for what you actually get. (Not all, for sure. I have read some pretty in depth ones). I thought her price was reasonable, compared to many I’ve seen.

    OH, and totally don’t set unrealistic expectations. I have done that so often…when will I learn? 🙂

    • Keren July 26, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      Right! Daniel’s comment after reading it was “it could have just been a really long blog post.” I view it as profitable marketing for her larger book; it did make me want to read her book.

      Thanks. Tried the “super early mornings” on a trial run last week. Nope–not a good time to start. 🙂

      • Johanna Hanson July 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm

        Been there. Done that. More than once. 🙂