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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

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  6,036 ratings  ·  757 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, 32 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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3.38  · 
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 ·  6,036 ratings  ·  757 reviews

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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
Mar 03, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2014

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.
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.
Jun 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Quick "booklet."


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
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
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
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
Jul 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
What do successful people do in the morning?
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.
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
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.
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 suc
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Oct 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
Catchy title but boring information
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
Since I became part of the tribe of morning people and my life really has changed, I found this little book useful and uplifting and reassuring. There are interesting suggestions and fact and good advices both for people with children and singles - how to make most of your time, live healthier life, without giving up what you like to do. Getting up early, after 7-8 hrs of sleep and doing thighs before breakfast is the best time of my day and really makes me feel like the days are longer and cool ...more
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooked-it
This was a quick read (1hr) on hoopla. I am a total night owl and have realized that that needs to change. I have been trying to convert myself into a morning person this whole year! It’s hard work my friends! But I do see how my day just flows better when I wake up earlier. This little booklet helped me realize that even more. She outlines that the most successful people do one of three things in the early hours of the morning: 1-nurture their careers, 2-nurture family, 3-nurture themselves. Nu ...more
Kari Yergin
Sep 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, that was quick. It was only about an hour of an audio, more like a long pamphlet then an actual book. And nothing was very new, but it’s one of those things where sometimes listening or reading can help re-motivate you.

Notes: Mornings seem to be made for getting things done. Will power becomes fatigued with overuse so it’s strongest in the morning

Ultimately self control lets you relax because it removes stress and enables you to conserve willpower for the important challenges.

The best morn
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: helps, 2016
This is not a book; it's more like a long essay. But it was long enough to be motivational, and it was well organized. I actually appreciated its brevity: in my opinion, way too many of these sort of books waste way too many pages hashing out the obvious, or filling space with too many "personal examples." Plenty of good ideas were suggested here though, and just enough examples were given (I always enjoy reading about how people work) to highlight the potential variety and flexibility available ...more
I enjoyed learning what the most successful poeple are doing before breakfast. Most of them are exercising! Bleh! Others are praying or meditating; planning their important tasks for the day, or conquering the mindless tasks (ie socialmedia, email, etc). Others are spending quality time with their families after just a few tweaks to their schedules. Bottom line--What ALL of these successful people are doing is waking up early! bleh! So they are going to bed earlier. Bleh! I did take away a few u ...more
Dan Absalonson
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I've been talking about going to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier and have time to run and work on my creative projects like writing. This book gave me a road map to do it. I laid out how I spend my time and saw how to rearrange my schedule a bit to have time for things I'm always wishing I was getting done. It was nice that it was a quick short read. It said what it needed to and let you get on to the next book.

I'm reading this book again to try and get motivated to go to bed early
Sep 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a day person and having diurnal circadian rhythms, I would say that is normal. I base this on my experiences of my 70 years of having to be responsible for my time.
As a youth, my folks worked in the restaurant/nightclub business. I had to get myself to bed and up in the morning and off to school. Don't feel sorry, I developed skills that were normal to humans and helped me during school, the military, working and going to school, running a construction company for decades. The is embracing t
Aug 10, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle, z-2012, behavioral
Short. Reads more like an essay than a book. Basically, successful people get up with plenty of time in the morning to get done those things that matter to them most, whether reading, exercising, working on a project, social media or spending time with a child. Getting that out of the way before the work day begins allows better focus throughout the day as well as less distractions at night making it easier to crash earlier which in turn makes it easier to rise earlier. Although nothing was pres ...more
Claribelle Bautista
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Reading this book at the start of the year was a great idea. Since I became a mom in 2015, I thought that I wouldn’t have time to do anything for myself until the kids grow up. New Year’s Day, I realized that I could no longer wait that long. Reading the book helped plan my day so that I could do things that I thought I don’t have time for. I now wake up at 5am so that I could walk/run around the neighborhood. By the time the kids wake up, I am already home and done with exercise. My husband sta ...more
Feb 07, 2014 rated it liked it
I was looking forward to reading this book after listening to Vanderkam's What Most Successful People do at Work. It had lots of good ideas that I'd like to implement. By contrast, this book seemed like stuff I already knew and was doing in the morning (exercise, prayer/meditation, time with family). Plus, it was really short - the audio book was less than 2 hours long.

So, if you don't make good use of your morning time, this might be a good book for you. If you already have a morning routine t
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Laura Vanderkam is the author of several time management and productivity books, including Off the Clock, I Know How She Does It, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, and 168 Hours.

Her 2016 TED talk, "How to Gain Control of Your Free Time," has been viewed more than 5 million times.

She regularly appears in publications including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast C
“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.” 4 likes
“Ultimately, self-control lets you relax because it removes stress and enables you to conserve willpower for the important challenges.” 3 likes
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