Cinnamon Bun Solution
wondering why your workdays are so miserable, I have the answer. The
not what happens when you get into work. The problem is what happens
get up in the morning.
Or, to be
more specific, what doesn’t happen. If you’re the sort of person who
themselves out of bed, praying that an injection of the magic elixir
caffeine will bring you to life, you are not using your mornings
I realize that this is a difficult concept to embrace -- especially if
haven’t yet had your fifth cup of coffee - but, believe it or not,
there is a
group of people who utilize their morning hours to maximize their
all through the day. These people are called “successful.”
Or so is
the stated belief of Laura Vanderkam, the author of “What the Most
People Do Before Breakfast.” As Vanderkam explained in a recent article
FastCompany.com, “Mornings are a great time for getting things done.
supply of willpower is fresh after a good night’s sleep. That makes it
to turn personal priorities like exercise or strategic thinking into
you’re like me and the goal of your strategic thinking is to develop
for avoiding exercise, Vanderkam has a point. There is a sense of
comes from having a fresh, new day spread out before you. And though
no doubt, end the day with much more work and many more problems than
started, spending those precious morning hours productively could made
positive difference in your work life.
But how do
you change your wastrel ways in the morning? Vanderkam has a 5-step
Pour yourself another cup of coffee, Clarence, and let’s get started.
Step 1 is
to “track your time.” The time-tracking exercise is not just for
also for your entire day. This is because “The solution to morning
often lies at other times of the day.” For example, if you learn that
evenings are wasted, mostly because you are wasted, drinking with your
work friends at the Kit Kat Klub, you can improve the situation by
your drinking well before breakfast. Now that’s efficiency!
Step 2 is
to “picture the perfect morning.” According to the author, these
could include training for a marathon, taking an online course or
articles that will help your career -- like this one! Of course, if
these ridiculous activities are of any interest to you, don’t feel
I’m sure many successful people picture the “perfect morning” as one in
they go right back to bed or never get up in the first place.
Step 3 asks
you to “think through the logistics.” In other words, what do you need
in order to be more productive in the mornings? Vanderkam wonders if
to set your easel next to your bed?” If you’re an artist, maybe so. For
have a much better idea. When you go to bed at night, put three
under the covers with you. During the night, your body heat will warm
to gooey perfection so when you’re ready for breakfast, you won’t have
time walking all the way to the kitchen. How logistic is that?
Step 4 is
to “build the habit.” Once you have your perfect morning in mind, how
it into a ritual? Vanderkam’s favorite technique is to use bribery,
promising yourself concert tickets if you can keep moving forward.” I
slight twist. Buy the tickets, but make the terms of the bribe slightly
different. After all, nothing could get you out of bed faster than the
of a Justin Bieber concert -- the threat of going to one if you don’t
Vanderkam cautions against morning rituals that are “of the
variety.” True that! If there’s any flagellation to be done, your boss
step -- No. 5 -- is to “tune up as necessary.” There could be changes
work life, such as getting fired. This would mean you could move your
activities to late afternoon, after Oprah.
hopeful hours before most people eat breakfast,” writes Vanderkam, “are
precious to be blown on semiconscious activities.” I agree 100 percent.
your semiconscious hours between nine and five, when you get paid for
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