The 11 actions that efficient people perform before breakfast
“If this is to happen, then that happens first,” writes Laura Vanderkam, Time Management Specialist and author of ” What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. ”
Those of us who have achieved professional success and are looking for an active lifestyle embrace this philosophy. They must set aside the early hours of the day to focus on their own priority activities before other people’s priorities are suddenly imposed.
Science supports this strategy. Vanderkam refers to Roy Baumeister, professor of psychology at Florida State University and famous for discovering that this will is like a muscle that gets tired as a result of joint overwork. Diets, he says, are abandoned in the evening, along with poor control of self-control and difficulties in making decisions later in the day. On the other hand, early mornings offer a refreshing of the input of the will, and people tend to be more optimistic and ready to tackle the most difficult tasks.
So what do senior managers and contractors do when they are refreshed and refreshed? According to the Vanderkam morning rituals study, we highlight the 11 actions that effective people perform before breakfast.
They get up early
Successful people know that time is a very precious asset. And since theirs is easily absorbed by phone calls, meetings, and appearances of sudden crises once they have gone to the office, the hours of the morning are under their control. That’s why many of them get up at dawn, pressing as much time as they can to do what they want.
In a group of 20 people cited by Vanderkam, 90% said they would get up before 6 pm during the week, for example, Indra Nooyi, CEO at Pepsi Co, wakes up at 4 pm and is at the office no later than 7 h. As for Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, he gets up at 4:30 to read, and Jack Dorsey, CEO at Square, is standing at 5:30 to go jogging.
To make short: Productive mornings begin with early awakenings.
The morning activity of wealth and power seems to be exercise, whether it is lifting weights at home or going to the gym. According to Vanderkam, Ursula Burns, CEO at Xerox, is planning a one hour personal training session in the morning at 6 pm twice a week, Steve Murphy, CEO at Christies, doing yoga in the morning, and Frits van Paasschen, CEO at Starwood Hotels , runs for one hour in the morning at 5:30.
“They are extremely busy people,” says Vanderkam. “If they spend time for exercise, it must be important.”
Besides the fact that doing exercise in the morning means that they can not run out of time later. Vanderkam says: Physical training before breakfast reduces the stress of the day, prevents the effects of a high-fat diet, and improves sleep.
They work on a business project of absolute priority
Quiet hours in the morning can be the best time to focus on important work without being interrupted. In addition, spending time early in the day makes them catch your attention before others use your time (children, employees, bosses).
Vanderkam uses the example of Debbie Moysychyn, an operations strategist who had to deal with a number of ad hoc meetings and interruptions during a day when she felt nothing could be done. She began to think of early mornings as a project schedule, and to choose one of top priority for each day and focus on it. Indeed, not a colleague came to visit at 6:30. She could finally focus.
They work on a personal project
It’s easy to give up writing a novel and / or performing an artistic creation when you’ve attended meetings all day, you’re tired, you’re hungry and you have to think about it There is something to do for lunch. That’s why many successful people spend about an hour on personal projects before officially starting their day.
According to Vanderkam, Charlotte Walker, a professor of history, spends the hours between 6 am and 9 am working on a book on religious policies in West Africa. She can read journal articles and write several pages before facing her responsibilities at the University of Chicago.
Spending time in the morning to write, and that becoming a habit, meant that she could actually keep her promises. Vanderkam mentions a study by young professors that has shown that writing a little each day instead of acting intensively makes them more likely to get tenure.
They have a good time with the family
We can praise family dinners, but there is nothing to tell you that you have to have a big family meal in the evening, says Vanderkam. Some successful people take mornings to spend time with the family, read stories to children, or prepare a hearty breakfast together.
Vanderkam, referring to Judi Rosenthal, Financial Planning Advisor, says that unless she is traveling, mornings are a special time for her young daughter. She helps him to get dressed, to make his bed and from time to time they work together on artistic projects. They also prepare breakfast and sit around the table to discuss what is going on. She refers to these 45 minutes as “the most precious time she has in the day.”
They communicate with their partners
In the evening, it is very likely that you will be tired following the activities of the day, and the time can be easily spoiled with the preparation of the meal and the confinement in its bubble in front of a screen of television. That’s why many successful people make relationships with their morning routine partners.
Plus, as Vanderkam wonders, what could be better than a sexual relationship at dawn to give you energy for the day? After all, having sex regularly can make you smarter, increase your income, and burn calories.
Even if they do not feel frisky each morning, many couples spend the first hours talking. Notably, Black Rock Managing General Manager Obie McKenzie and his wife travel from the suburbs to New York City every morning. Their journey of over an hour goes on to discuss their life, their finances and lists of things to do for the home and do the planning of the week.
They socialize in front of a cafe
Notably, if you like to do it at home for lunch, the morning can be a good time meeting people for coffee or breakfast. Plus, networking breakfasts are less disruptive than lunchtime and more work-oriented than well-watered cocktails, Vanderkam said.
Christopher Colvin, a lawyer and entrepreneur in New York, started a networking group for the Ivy League alums called Ivy Life. Almost every day, he wakes up at 5:30 to walk his dog and read, but every Friday he attends an Ivy Life Networking Breakfast. “I feel like a young and more creative student in the morning,” he told Vanderkam. “At the end of the day, my mind is more balanced.”
Meditation to free the spirits
Type-A personalities usually ask as much of others as they do for themselves, so it’s hard for them to mentally separate themselves from their to-do lists and calm their minds. Before heading to the door, many successful people devote themselves to spiritual practices such as meditation to focus on the peak period of the day.
Manisha Thakor, a former corporate executive she founded, now heads Money Zen Wealth Management and practices transcendental meditation to free her mind. She does two 20-minute sessions each day, the first before breakfast and the second in the evening, and focuses on breathing and repeats a mantra in her head. She discovered that it was “one of the most rewarding practices in her life” she had never experienced, she told Vanderkam.
They write things for which they are grateful
Expressing gratitude is another good way to focus and have a good perspective before heading to the office. Noting the people, places and opportunities you are grateful for only takes a few minutes, but can make all the difference in your evolution perspective. About Wendy Kay, executive at Wendy Kay, Vanderkam said she spent much of the morning “expressing gratitude, seeking advice and being available for inspiration. When she starts working, she always has an informed vision of herself and her staff.
They plan and develop strategies when refreshed
Planning the day, week or month in advance is an important management tool to keep you on the right track when you’re right in the middle of the action. Using mornings to get an overview of your thoughts helps to set the day’s guideline.
Christine Galib, formerly a bank executive who became a teacher, wakes up at 5 am on weekdays, exercises, reads a few verses from the Bible, and revises her tasks for the day before breakfast. She told Vanderkam that this ritual makes her days easier to manage and effective.
They check their emails
While time management gurus may suggest delaying emails as long as possible, many successful people start the day with their emails. They can quickly browse the inbox for urgent messages that require an immediate response or develop a few important emails that they can focus on while their ideas are fresh.
For example, Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project , gets up at 6 am every morning before her family gets up at 7 am. She takes advantage of this time to empty her inbox, plan the day and read social media. By eliminating these tasks from the beginning, this helps her focus better when she moves on to more complex projects, Vanderkam said.