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“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will spend all day looking for it.”
That’s what nineteenth century English economist Richard Whately said of early starts.
So what can you do to protect your mornings and ensure the rest of the day goes to plan?
Work on Your Business
Many successful freelancers build their side businesses each morning.
Mornings are perfect for working on your side business. You’re less likely to feel tired or frazzled than at the end of a typical workday.
An aspiring writer, for example, could work on their book for an hour each day before work.
A freelance designer could pitch would-be clients first thing.
A consultant could gather testimonials and update her contacts list before leaving for the day.
Even if you’re not interested in a side-hustle, you can use the morning for the most important work of the day.
Ryan Gallagher, cofounder of phone call service provider iovox reviews his inboxes first thing in the morning. He said,
I start the day every morning and go through my inbox. I have everything flagged, I have my calls from yesterday, I have my emails from yesterday, and then I can actually prioritize. So I start the day there, and I usually end the day there as well.”
Then, there’s The New York Times best-selling author Daniel Pink, who told me, When I’m writing books, or anything of any length, I sequester the morning and work only on that, and then do my other work other times of day.
Work On Yourself
Elon Musk recently said, “Nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week.”
Not everyone buys into the myth of work as an all-consuming religion (sorry Elon).
It’s possible to succeed at work and still have other interests. They can even inform each other.
Perhaps you could rise early to work out at the gym or take a yoga class.
Lizzie Brown, founder of YogaWakeUp, practiced yoga for years while working in public relations. Eventually, she turned her interest in a business.
She said about her idea for a yoga app, “It really came down to an idea that [Lizzie’s husband husband] had in a yoga class … we created a yoga alarm clock as a way to encourage people to wake up in a more peaceful way.”
At the other end of the spectrum, Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates and investor Charlie Munger both set aside at least an hour each morning for learning through deep reading, taking courses and so on.
Munger said, “Spend each day trying to be a little wiser than you were when you woke up. Day by day, and at the end of the day-if you live long enough-like most people, you will get out of life what you deserve.”
Work On Your Relationships
Leo Babauta, author and founder of the popular blog Zen Habits, sometimes goes for a short run with his wife in the morning.
Babauta wrote this about his practice, “If you are already rushed in the morning … maybe start waking a little earlier … most us have a little extra time that we spend on checking messages and other things online … reclaim that sacred time for more powerful actions.”
If you’re balancing family life with a demanding job, use mornings wisely. Eat breakfast together. Drop them at school. And so on.
Kids have a habit of rising early anyway, so the mornings are ideal for spending time with them.
This practice means no email or work calls at the breakfast table.
Being present for your kids in the morning might mean starting and finishing work later, but you’ll have given them a strong start to their day.
What’s more, it might be difficult to spend time together in the evening if the schedules of family members differ.
You can spend the first hour of your morning working, learning or with a loved one. The morning is yours to waste or spend.
April 16, 2019 at 02:16PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs