Before the rest of the world is eating breakfast, the most successful people have already scored daily victories that are advancing them toward the lives they want.
This was one of the best productivity books I’ve ever read. Vanderkam is efficient and to the point in her recommendations for time management and prioritization, and this relatively quick (1 hour-ish) audiobook flew by. Clear instructions explain how to make over your mornings to live your best life, with supporting examples of successful people who utilize early hour routines to achieve their short and long term goals. What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast was incredibly inspirational and I highly recommend it, particularly to people who would like to start a better morning routine but lack the motivation or methodology to do so.
Vanderkam provides concrete steps for establishing a morning routine that develops the three most important components for a happy and successful life: relationships, careers, and self. Family breakfast can take the place of schedule-conflicted dinners. People-free dawn hours are perfect for those activities you’ve always said “if I only had time for”, like photography, meditation, or physical fitness. She also discusses beginning your schedule revamp with “baby steps”. Many productivity books champion the motto “just do it”, and while Vanderkam doesn’t shy from telling you to get started, she recognizes that gradual changes may be the only way.
I was MOST fascinated by her presentation of willpower as a limited resource and its application in forming habits. Willpower is a finite resource used up throughout your day for all choices, decisions, and use of self-control (she entertainingly points out this is why all bad things happen at night). This book revolves around the creation of a morning routine of habits, specifically because your “well of willpower” is refreshed after a good night’s sleep and thus can be used optimally on willpower-intensive choices that you may be too drained for later in the day (such as exercise or side hustles). Once an aspect of your morning routine becomes a habit, that task no longer requires a great deal of willpower to complete, allowing for the addition of another willpower-draining task, and the process is repeated.
This was a fantastic book that forced me to realize how much time I waste puttering around. I’m actually now attempting a structured morning routine that I’ve found (unsurprisingly) creates a more relaxing start to my day than my typical “jump out of bed with the 5th alarm and dash around to get read before sprinting out the door (typically late)” schedule. I highly recommend What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast for anyone looking for motivation and realistic guidelines for revamping their mornings.