As a working professional, you might find your days ebbing away with no reprieve in sight. With the hustle and bustle of commuting to work, completing tasks on time, and attempting to have a personal life; it’s hard to make any headway on those ideas or dreams that you’ve had for years. Not only this but how do we create meaningful space in our lives where we can simply pause and reflect? How do we break free from the cycle of never-ending loops so that now may be the time when these great ideas see fruition?
Laura Vanderkam unveils the secrets of success in her book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast. Her exploration into successful people’s habits has revealed that many of us squander a key period each day – our mornings! Instead, these business magnates are tending to their bodies and minds, connecting with family members, or blogging, some visit the gym for an energizing workout; all cherishing this ‘private time’ as priceless for centering themselves and preparing for another productive day ahead.
After absorbing Vanderkam’s discoveries, I came to the realization that I was not making the most of my day. According to her data, productivity reaches its peak in the early mornings when concentration and energy are abundant. Those hours held great potential for problem-solving or business strategizing – but instead of using them productively, I usually went back to sleep up until it was time for work. Even on days when waking up earlier seemed like a viable option; however, I would rarely capitalize on this extra time strategically… With my daily schedule already feeling overwhelming — how could possibly make room in order to take advantage? It wasn’t until Vanderkam showed me how reclaiming those precious moments from late at night could create more opportunities during daylight!
Contrastingly, my evenings were spent carelessly. Watching television, aimlessly browsing the internet, and doing nothing of significance – not completely relaxed yet also unable to commit to anything worthwhile. I was aware that this habit mirrored my own lifestyle and Laura Vanderkam’s advice on cutting out such wasted time resonated with me; all I needed for more productive hours was simply going to bed earlier and waking up sooner! The difference between end-of-day activities compared to those in the morning is significant: as evening rolls around we are tired while mornings can propel us into a new world of opportunity!
I was inspired to give it a go, so I attempted the practice for one week. In accordance with Vanderkam’s advice, I wrote down my perfect morning ritual – all that which would get me feeling vibrant and motivated when rising from sleep, as well as excited about waking up each day. To keep things interesting and varied throughout the week, twice a week I decided to hit the streets running or take part in some yoga at my local gym; whilst on other days I’d start off by having a cup of tea while blogging, setting goals for upcoming projects or studying Chinese. After I planned the amount of time for all my tasks, I realized that if I wanted to go to bed early enough and get a full night’s sleep, then waking up earlier was necessary. This became an hour-and-a-half of blissful “me” time each morning. Unlike in the evenings when previously gave in to Facebook while halfheartedly watching reality TV shows, this extra morning hour felt like a luxurious present from me.
Through my experimentation, I have now made it part of my routine – though there are times when late nights at work or for leisure purposes require me to set the alarm later. The most rewarding aspect is that I no longer dread waking up early each day; in fact, I’m eager to get out of bed and seize the opportunities a new morning brings with regard to advancing my health and career.
Are you making the most of your mornings? Already an early bird? Let us know in the comments below how you maximize your time each day!