We’ve all heard it before – “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” You must fuel your body to break the fast of a long night’s slumber. The benefits are many – a boost to your body’s metabolism, increased mental stamina throughout the day, long-term health and fitness benefits, etc. But thanks to those little supercomputers that live in our pockets all day and lie on our bed stands all night, many professionals find themselves responding to emails first thing in the morning, before they even throw a Pop-Tart into the toaster.
In The 4-Hour Workweek, Tim Ferris famously suggested only checking one’s email only once or twice per day as a measure to increase one’s overall productivity. For sales professionals, this may be a little extreme – anything less than a timely reply to a customer text or email may be construed as non-responsiveness, giving a competitor the leg up. But just like a healthy breakfast, scheduling some personal time first thing in the morning, before attending to one’s professional obligations, can be incredibly beneficial and set the tone for a solid, productive day.
In a recent Fast Company article, Kevin Purdy describes the morning habits of highly successful people. Though we don’t know who prefers Count Chocula to Frosted Flakes, we can learn from the morning habits of these successful and productive individuals. Here’s what these individuals suggest doing with the first hour of your day:
- Don’t check your email for at least the first hour of the day (David Karp, Tumblr Founder)
- Practice some light exercise, motivational incantations or 10 minutes of thinking about everything for which you are grateful (Tony Robbins, Motivational Speaker)
- Make the most unappealing task of the day the first thing you tackle – to get it out of the way! (Gina Trapani, Writer)
- Take some time to ask yourself if you’re doing what you want to do (Steve Jobs, late Apple CEO)
- Focus on the human side of work that often gets lost between task list items (Craig Newmark, Craigslist Founder)
Oh, and don’t forget to eat your Wheaties.