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What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings--and Life
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What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings--and Life

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3.41  ·  Rating details ·  9,846 ratings  ·  1,153 reviews
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 cool ...more
Kindle Edition, 181 pages
Published June 12th 2012 by Portfolio
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Stephanie Suva While most of her examples were people with kids, I was able to apply the information to my life as a single person working a 9-5 job.

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Average rating 3.41  · 
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 ·  9,846 ratings  ·  1,153 reviews


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Carlee
Aug 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
If you're looking for a way to get more time out of your day and be more productive, there's a much better book to read: "Your Brain at Work", which is actually based in neuroscience.

This book was really written as a fun anecdote for busy people in their 30s-50s with kids, mostly, and really doesn't address the lifestyles of children-free couples. Additionally, the book is extremely vague and her arguments don't really hold water. She argues that since successful people wake up early, that waki
...more
Manuel Antão
Oct 06, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.


Barmy Kafka: "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast - And Two Other Short Guides to Achieving More at Work and at Home" by Laura Vanderkam



(original review, 2013)

This is all grimly self-helpish and there is no common denominator, so there is no top tips take-away. I’m coming from the Rough Guide’s “50 things You Must Do Before You Die” and all that, this is a bit of a double whammy. Are we supposed to squeeze the last drop
...more
Laura
Feb 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014-books
This is a hard one to rate. Good advice? Yes. If I had read this in my 20s, I would have loved it. Reading it close to 40, I have a different perspective on what "successful people" means and being uber-productive every possible minute is not my definition of success.
Glamdring
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, non-fiction

Today, instead of reading I decided to listen to this audio book during my commute. It's a short 1 hour audio book full of examples of what some successful/really busy people do in the wee hours of the morning and why they do it then. I was quite disappointed because beside the examples the rest is only common sense and to make things worse, the narration is so boring I almost fell asleep.
Cheri
Feb 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
I feel somewhat duped by the title of this text. I was expecting what Fortune 500 CEOs did before breakfast or at least business owners and working professionals. This book should have been renamed, How Moms Can Fit In Exercise and Prayer before Taking Their Kids to Day Care. In addition to focusing on moms, the book presupposes that these moms are married, wealthy, and live in fantastic neighborhoods. How else do you get "extra babysitting help" to watch your children while you go to a coffee s ...more
Kristen Lemaster
This is another book, in reference to Lean In, which reads more like an extended thesis than an actual self-help book, but that doesn't discredit the effort and intentional thinking that went into its creation. The first and third sections are interesting although nothing revolutionary; in fact, Eric teased me for expecting the answer to "what do the most successful people do before breakfast?" to be anything besides "wake up super early." The middle section, however, is the game changer. I love ...more
Kim
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Okay, so not bad advice...and I guess you could say it was a 'mini-book' for those of you who have SUCH busy lives that a book of 39 pages (Nook...with 8 pages of advertisements for her other books) is overwhelming.

Thank goodness it was a $2.99 book.
The biggest questions that loom in my head now that I'm done are:

1) Who is her publisher...and where can I meet this person?
I could write a book so much better than that.
2) How much Laura was PAID for this book?

I will probably never know. If an
...more
Tara
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Quick "booklet."

Notes

What the most successful people do
- Successful people use the morning to: invest in career(strategize, work on a key project), their relationships (breakfast with family, networking) or themselves (working out)
- Decision making power runs out over the day so leaving the most important stuff until the end of the day is risky
- Five step process
1. Track your time (spreadsheet available on her website)
2. Picture the perfect morning
3. Think through the logistics
4. Build the hab
...more
Michelle
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
What do successful people do in the morning?
Stuff.
They do stuff in the morning instead of sitting on the toilet, letting the shower run and 'warm up' while checking Facebook for 20 min.
I'm not sure who this book is for. It's very general, without helping one to sort priorities or devise a plan for enhancing their mornings.
It's always nice to have a reminder that the early bird gets the worm, but I felt like this book was trying to sell copies more then help me manage my time.
Julie
Jun 13, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2012
The subtitle is "A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings and Your Life" but it is really more of an essay and not really a guide. The concept of the book is great. As someone who has become more of an early riser in recent years I know there is power in the morning hours and I was hoping this book would give me the tools to harness that power but it did not.

The concepts laid out are not innovative but mere common sense ideas. The examples given are more obscure people who may work at large c
...more
مروة الجزائري
-Ironically I've read this book late at night-
DON'T JUDGE ME OKAY?

This was a big hit in time management self help books. Straight forward and doesn't beat around the bushes.

To be honest I have my time managed very well but i still improve myself reading articles. This book although some of it sounds ideal but if you read it keeping in mind to be flexible. You will end up benefiting a lot from it.

The main idea of this book is to use your mornings wisely and more productive wise.

By waking up earli
...more
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars
This was too short, but it had a few good suggestions about utilizing the early hours of the day.
Riki
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it
I am not a morning person in any way, shape, or form, so I was naturally intrigued to hear what Laura Vanderkam had to say about successful folks and what they do before breakfast. Immediately she brings forth the idea that willpower is like a muscle that becomes fatigued as we use it throughout the day, making first thing in he morning the best time to tackle things that require a great deal of willpower. Makes perfect sense until I'm lying in bed smacking the Snooze button with wild abandon. S ...more
Heidi The Reader
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast was helpful but not as earth shattering as The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up (which if you haven't read yet, I very highly recommend). I've already discovered that if I tackle the projects that take the most amount of focus earlier in the day, it generally flows a lot more smoothly than if I wait to do it until the afternoon. I suppose that if I got up earlier that I could do more but I don't think that this will encourage me to start getti ...more
Thomas Clairmont
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t have picked a better book to start off the new year, really recommend it. I’m officially ready and motivated to OWN my mornings from now on!
Robin
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: self-growth
I love when self-growth books are short. This is a bite-sized savory chunk of information that has helped reroute my thinking in less than 100 pages!
I'd highly recommend this to everyone. You can use your time to actually grow, not to read a loooooooong heavy tome about how to grow!!!
Grant Huling
Jul 22, 2012 rated it did not like it
Timeless wisdom made petty by yuppyish USA Today scribe.
Elena
Jul 21, 2014 rated it liked it
i dont know why i keep reading books that make me feel guilty about being lazy . Somebody should write a book about how awesomen being lazy is.
Kimberly Laurel (The Trusty Bookmark)
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 s
...more
Vmichelle Skinner
Another self help book, another book unfinished. Yeah, it's true. This book is a really interesting look into how we spend our time, how we can spend it more efficiently and look at it differently. But (for me) this book ended up feeling like a book I thought "should" read, instead of a book I wanted to read. I've come to a point where I'm tired of trying to cram another thing into my day, tired of striving and focusing on efficiency and achievement. Maybe because the concept of "achievement" be ...more
7jane
Jul 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite useful... the 'breakfast' part concentrates on the benefits of being an early bird, which can mean more me-time: to strategise and focus on work, to spend more time with family and to take care of oneself (exercise, spiritual, creatively). The 'weekend' part concentrates on how to spend weekends productively and making good memories. The 'work' part concentrates on tips how to make work easier and more fun (though not all tips fit all work types).

The 'work' part was the least useful for me
...more
Aneta
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Seriously tho... I was expecting something more. My friend gave me this book after she finished reading it. She was so fascinated by it - I thought I will be too! Imagine my disappointment when I started reading it and saw all the “wake up at 5 to spend more time with your family and kids”. I live with my roommate, we obviously don’t have any kids and I’m a freaking student! I’m clearly not falling in THAT category. Some of the tips were useful, but the rest of them simply drove me mad. I’m gene ...more
Meg
Dec 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was worth the time it took to read: the first 3 segments of the book were not revolutionary, but there were several valuable gems, especially in the appendix in the list of 50 time management tips. In general, Vanderkam is spot on with her ideas and clear descriptive writing style.
Janssen
Jan 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, non-fiction
This was a great book to read as the new year kicked off and I always like Laura Vanderkam.
Erin
Oct 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Time track.
Waste less time.
Assess priorities.
Do important things in the morning.
Because willpower is a gas tank.

This sure as hell did not need to be a book.
Geoff
Jan 03, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book basically describes the benefits of getting up early and ways to evaluate/use this time.

If you're a morning person there are some good suggestion on ways to use this time and make your morning route more efficient.

If you're not a morning person this book makes a compelling argument as to the benefits of changing your routine and ways to use the morning for focused effort tasks.

Nothing life changing but some minor suggestions that can be helpful and a quick read.
Rachel (TheShadesofOrange)
3.0 Stars

Super short guide to strategically using your early morning hours. Vanderkam lists examples of how various successful people use their mornings - from exercise to work. The book was too short and the advice was too vague to be actually helpful. Still, if you are looking for some inspiration for waking up earlier to get more done, this is a decent starting point.
Roberta
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
I liked this book - it was inspiring to read about most of the very busy CEOs and Entrepreneurs in this world and how they make time before breakfast to either exercise or get some of the mundane tasks in their lives done so that they can make room to do other things throughout the day to be happy.
Thomas
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Reads about like a really long blog post that was linked to on Lifehacker. But a kind of decent one where you send the link around to your friends. Don't expect a lot of substance, but perhaps a small bit of inspiration, I guess.
Lex
Nov 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Interesting to hear what successful people do with there mornings but nothing groundbreaking. It's kind of obvious to get more done in your day to wake up earlier and use your time productively. It's short and a good motivational speech though.
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795 followers
Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including:
The New Corner Office
Off the Clock
I Know How She Does It
What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast
168 Hours

Laura is also the author of a time management fable, Juliet’s School of Possibilities and another novel, The Cortlandt Boys, which is available as an ebook.

Her 2016 TED talk, "How to Gain Contr
...more

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