THE EASIEST WAY TO HACK YOUR MORNING: TOMORROW LIST
From research and meta-analyses to Mark Twain, the advice is the same: Get big work done early.
Twain’s advice stems from this famous quote of his:
Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
We’ve co-opted Twain’s saying to mean, “Do your biggest tasks first.” When you start with a big item (a project/frog), the rest of your day looks pretty great by comparison.
STEVE JOBS’S MORNING ROUTINE: ONE SIMPLE QUESTION
In a commencement address he gave at Stanford back in 2005, Steve Jobs revealed the motivational tactic that he used to start each and every day.
For the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”
And whenever the answer has been no for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Pretty powerful stuff. Would asking that question help keep your morning to-dos in perspective?
MORNING RITUALS OF SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE
Kenneth Chenault, American Express CEO
The last thing Chenault does before leaving his office at night is to write down the top three things he wants to accomplish tomorrow. Then he’ll use that list to start his next day.
Anna Wintour, Vogue editor-in-chief
One of the more enthusiastic morning routines I found was Wintour’s daily ritual of playing tennis. Starts each day at 5:45 a.m. with an hour-long tennis match.
Margaret Thatcher, former U.K. prime minister
Thatcher was believed to be a short sleeper (a person who can get by on less sleep than usual), so her late-night political meetings never kept her from waking up at 5:00 a.m. the next morning to listen to “Farming Today,” a popular program on BBC Radio about food, farming, and the countryside.