What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings--and Life (A Penguin Special from Por tfolio)

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Mornings are a madcap time for many of us. We wake up in a haze—often after hitting snooze a few times. Then we rush around to get ready and out the door so we can officially start the day. Before we know it, hours have slipped by without us accomplishing anything beyond downing a cup of coffee, dashing off a few emails, and dishing with our coworkers around the water cooler. By the time the workday wraps up, we’re so exhausted and defeated that any motivation to accomplish something in the evening has vanished.

But according to time management expert Laura Vanderkam, mornings hold the key to taking control of our schedules. If we use them wisely, we can build habits that will allow us to lead happier, more productive lives.

Drawing on real-life anecdotes and scientific research that shows why the early hours of the day are so important, Vanderkam reveals how successful people use mornings to help them accomplish things that are often impossible to take care of later in the day. While many of us are still in bed, these folks are scoring daily victories to improve their health, careers, and personal lives without sacrificing their sanity. For instance, former PepsiCo chairman and CEO Steve Reinemund would rise at 5:00 a.m., run four miles, pray, and eat breakfast with his family before heading to work to run a Fortune 500 company.

What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast is a fun, practical guide that will inspire you to rethink your morning routine and jump-start your life before the day has even begun.
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More by Laura Vanderkam

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There are 168 hours in a week. This book is about where the time really goes, and how we can all use it better.

It's an unquestioned truth of modern life: we are starved for time. With the rise of two-income families, extreme jobs, and 24/7 connectivity, life is so frenzied we can barely find time to breathe. We tell ourselves we'd like to read more, get to the gym regularly, try new hobbies, and accomplish all kinds of goals. But then we give up because there just aren't enough hours to do it all. Or else, if we don't make excuses, we make sacrifices. To get ahead at work we spend less time with our spouses. To carve out more family time, we put off getting in shape. To train for a marathon, we cut back on sleep. There has to be a better way-and Laura Vanderkam has found one.

After interviewing dozens of successful, happy people, she realized that they allocate their time differently than most of us. Instead of letting the daily grind crowd out the important stuff, they start by making sure there's time for the important stuff. They focus on what they do best and what only they can do. When plans go wrong and they run out of time, only their lesser priorities suffer.

It's not always easy, but the payoff is enormous. Vanderkam shows that it really is possible to sleep eight hours a night, exercise five days a week, take piano lessons, and write a novel without giving up quality time for work, family, and other things that really matter. The key is to start with a blank slate and to fill up your 168 hours only with things that deserve your time.

Of course, you probably won't read to your children at 2:00 am, or skip a Wednesday morning meeting to go hiking, but you can cut back on how much you watch TV, do laundry, or spend time on other less fulfilling activities. Vanderkam shares creative ways to rearrange your schedule to make room for the things that matter most.

168 Hours is a fun, inspiring, practical guide that will help men and women of any age, lifestyle, or career get the most out of their time and their lives.
Drawing on her 18 years of experience working remotely, plus original interviews with managers, employees, and free agents who've perfected their remote routines, Laura Vanderkam shares strategies for productivity, creativity, and health in the new corner office.

How do you do great work while sitting near the same spot where you watch Netflix? How can you be responsive without losing the focus necessary for getting things done? How can you maintain and grow your network when you spend less time face to face?

The key is to detach yourself from old ways of working and adopt new habits to match your new environment. Long before public health concerns pushed many of us indoors, some of the most successful people fueled their careers with carefully perfected work-from-home routines. Drawing on those profiles and her own insights, productivity expert and mother of five Laura Vanderkam reveals how to turn "being cooped up" into the ultimate career advantage. Her hacks include:


• Manage by task, not time. Going to an office for 8 hours makes you feel like you've done something, even if you haven't. Remote workers should set 3-5 ambitious goals for each day and consider the work day done when these are crossed off.
• Get the rhythm right. A well-planned day features time for focused work, interactive work, and rejuvenating breaks. In place of a commute, a consciously chosen shut down ritual keeps work from continuing all night.
• Nurture connections. Wise remote workers can build broader and more effective networks than people sitting in the same cubicle five days a week.

Whether you're an introvert or an extrovert, a self-starter or someone who prefers detailed directions, you can do your clearest thinking and deepest work at home--and have more energy left over to achieve personal goals or fuel bigger professional ambitions. In fact, soon you might find it hard to imagine working any other way.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Jun 12, 2012
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Pages
40
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ISBN
9781591845768
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Time Management
Business & Economics / Workplace Culture
Self-Help / Self-Management / Time Management
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Content protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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