What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day


BY KEVIN PURDY | fastcompany.com

How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot. It can be the hour you see everything clearly, get one real thing done, and focus on the human side of work rather than your task list.

Remember when you used to have a period at the beginning of every day to think about your schedule, catch up with friends, maybe knock out a few tasks? It was called home room, and it went away after high school. But many successful people schedule themselves a kind of grown-up home room every day. You should too.

The first hour of the workday goes a bit differently for Craig Newmark of Craigslist, David Karp of Tumblr, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, career writer (and Fast Company blogger) Brian Tracy, and others, and they’ll tell you it makes a big difference. Here are the first items on their daily to-do list.

Don’t Check Your Email for the First Hour. Seriously. Stop That.

Tumblr founder David Karp will “try hard” not to check his email until 9:30 or 10 a.m., according to an Inc. profile of him. “Reading e-mails at home never feels good or productive,” Karp said. “If something urgently needs my attention, someone will call or text me.”

Not all of us can roll into the office whenever our Vespa happens to get us there, but most of us with jobs that don’t require constant on-call awareness can trade e-mail for organization and single-focus work. It’s an idea that serves as the title of Julie Morgenstern’s work management book Never Check Email In The Morning, and it’s a fine strategy for leaving the office with the feeling that, even on the most over-booked days, you got at least one real thing done.

If you need to make sure the most important messages from select people come through instantly, AwayFind can monitor your inbox and get your attention when something notable arrives. Otherwise, it’s a gradual but rewarding process of training interruptors and coworkers not to expect instantaneous morning response to anything they send in your off-hours.

Gain Awareness, Be Grateful

One smart, simple question on curated Q & A site Quora asked “How do the most successful people start their day?”. The most popular response came from a devotee of Tony Robbins, the self-help guru who pitched the power of mindful first-hour rituals long before we all had little computers next to our beds.

Robbins suggests setting up an “Hour of Power,” “30 Minutes to Thrive,” or at least “Fifteen Minutes to Fulfillment.” Part of it involves light exercise, part of it involves motivational incantations, but the most accessible piece involves 10 minutes of thinking of everything you’re grateful for: in yourself, among your family and friends, in your career, and the like. After that, visualize “everything you want in your life as if you had it today.”

Robbins offers the “Hour of Power” segment of his Ultimate Edge series as a free audio stream (here’s the direct MP3 download). Blogger Mike McGrath also wrote a concise summary of the Hour of Power). You can be sure that at least some of the more driven people you’ve met in your career are working on Robbins’ plan.

Do the Big, Shoulder-Sagging Stuff First Leer más “What Successful People Do With The First Hour Of Their Work Day”

21 Ways to Save Minutes Each Day

I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with time. On my phone I track every minute of the day and how it is being used. I can even show you a spreadsheet with months of data where my time up to the minute.

For example, I can tell you that on average I sleep 7 hours and 14 minutes a day and I spend on average 87 minutes a week running errands. You might wonder why I’m doing this. The reason is that I want to be on the fast-track to success. One of the ways to reach my destination faster is by maximizing the time I have at my disposal. In other words, by time saving.

Over the months of tracking my time I wanted to figure out ways to shave minutes of certain low value activities so I could refocus that to more important matters. The list of time saving tips below is the one I’ve done myself to free up time, and I have redirected those minutes and hours to work and personal projects.
21 Time Saving Tips That Work

1. Check your smart phone in line – Waiting in line is a waste of time, so use this time to check your email, respond to text messages or participate on social media.

2. Automate your monthly expenses – Stop paying bills through the mail and switch to paying your expenses online. If you are already doing that, the next step is to automate your payments and set a time once a month to review all your monthly payments.

3. Maximize your commute times – Read a book, listen to audiobooks, call people, email or get other work done.

4. Eat your frog – The first thing you do in the morning is the task you dread the most. Brian Tracy coined this term and he got it from the saying: “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!” By doing the dreadful task first, the rest of the day is going to be easy in comparison.

5. Stop watching TV – Cut back on watching television and switch over to on-demand media. TV commercials provide little value and revolving your day around the TV’s schedule is an inefficient use of your time. You can still watch most your favorite shows on Hulu or Netflix, but at your own pace and time.


time saving

I have a confession to make: I’m obsessed with time. On my phone I track every minute of the day and how it is being used. I can even show you a spreadsheet with months of data where my time up to the minute.

For example, I can tell you that on average I sleep 7 hours and 14 minutes a day and I spend on average 87 minutes a week running errands. You might wonder why I’m doing this. The reason is that I want to be on the fast-track to success. One of the ways to reach my destination faster is by maximizing the time I have at my disposal. In other words, by time saving.

Over the months of tracking my time I wanted to figure out ways to shave minutes of certain low value activities so I could refocus that to more important matters. The list of time saving tips below is the one I’ve done myself to free up time, and I have redirected those minutes and hours to work and personal projects.

21 Time Saving Tips That Work

1. Check your smart phone in lineWaiting in line is a waste of time, so use this time to check your email, respond to text messages or participate on social media.

2. Automate your monthly expenses – Stop paying bills through the mail and switch to paying your expenses online. If you are already doing that, the next step is to automate your payments and set a time once a month to review all your monthly payments.

3. Maximize your commute times – Read a book, listen to audiobooks, call people, email or get other work done.

4. Eat your frog – The first thing you do in the morning is the task you dread the most. Brian Tracy coined this term and he got it from the saying: “If the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long!” By doing the dreadful task first, the rest of the day is going to be easy in comparison.

5. Stop watching TV – Cut back on watching television and switch over to on-demand media. TV commercials provide little value and revolving your day around the TV’s schedule is an inefficient use of your time. You can still watch most your favorite shows on Hulu or Netflix, but at your own pace and time. Leer más “21 Ways to Save Minutes Each Day”

4 Ways to Turn Your Day Around

Every day is a new day, we never know what it holds in store for us. Just like Forrest Gump’s Mother so eloquently puts it “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you might get.” and she is so right.

Some days though, it can be hard to muster the enthusiasm, we wake on the wrong side. We just can’t find motivation, were surly and cannot help but get annoyed about every little irritating detail.

As you have probably read and heard before, your mood is completely your decision.

Sometimes though it can be very difficult to turn one of these days around.


Every day is a new day, we never know what it holds in store for us. Just like Forrest Gump’s Mother so eloquently puts it “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you might get.” and she is so right.

Some days though, it can be hard to muster the enthusiasm, we wake on the wrong side. We just can’t find motivation, were surly and cannot help but get annoyed about every little irritating detail.

As you have probably read and heard before, your mood is completely your decision.

Sometimes though it can be very difficult to turn one of these days around.

Here are 4 tips that always help me get back on my feet…: Leer más “4 Ways to Turn Your Day Around”