Making Better Use of the First Hour of the Day

An early morning view from my porch

My husband is out of the house by 5:15 each morning. And because I’m such a sweet wife, I get up with him, make his lunch and kiss him goodbye. It’s the least I can do since his working and benefits do, after all, make my self-employment a much more feasible thing (plus he’s an all-around sweet guy and I kinda like him:-).

So anyway, at this hour I’m rather lethargic and not quite ready to start my day. It’s way too easy to plop down on the couch and open up a laptop. You know how that goes…I think I’ll just do a quick post to my Facebook business page, check my email, read the news, and then I’ll get going. Of course, two hours later, I’m still sitting there on the couch. What a waste of the most beautiful time of day!

Thankfully, I don’t always do that.

In his Work Smart article, writer Kevin Purdy describes what successful people do with the first hour of their workday. They don’t check their email. Seriously, he says. Stop that.

Maybe Facebook should be banned as well.

Think about it. Facebook has become such a black hole of critical opinions, arguments and TMI that quite often all it does is stew a heartburn of negativity for the rest of the day. Ditto for the world’s news (and don’t even mention talk radio).

What total day-downers these are!

In Ed Gandia’s Effortless Productivity seminar, he describes his early morning routine. Each day he does a gratitude exercise, where he writes in longhand a full page of things for which he’s thankful. This, he says, sets the tone for the rest of his day. A happier tone.

I started doing this too. I use it as my thank-you list to God. Interestingly, the more I write, the more ideas of thankfulness come to my mind. Doing this makes me realize how blessed I really am.

Furthermore, recognizing these blessings motivates me to get off my butt. This summer I’ve gardened almost every morning—yes, that’s my early riser’s view, isn’t it beautiful? I’ve also kept up with swimming laps, yoga in the park, and walking with my neighbor (not all on the same day, of course…I’m not that energetic:-). By time I sit down to start my workday, I feel upbeat and full of creativity.

I’ve gotta say, it’s been a great summer.

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