morning habits of successful people - EAT A LIVE FROG
How Successful People Start Their Day: The Best Morning Routines for Feeling Great and Getting Work Done
Whether you’re a morning person or a night owl, we all start our day at some point. And we all seem to start it differently.
Some of us hop online to check social media, others dive in to email, still others eat breakfast, exercise, or pack lunches for the kids. There’re a million different ways a morning could go.
Which morning routine might be best?
While there’s probably not an ideal morning routine that fits everyone, we can learn a lot from the morning routines of successful people as well as from the research and inspiration behind starting a morning on the right foot.
I collected a wide range of opinions on how best to start a day, from the scientific to the successful. Here’s the best of what I found—maybe it’ll help you get a little more productivity, creativity, and enjoyment out of your morning.
Science says: Willpower is highest in the morning, so start strong
You’ve maybe heard the advice that your first work of the day should be something meaningful and significant, a task that might take a lot of focus, will, and determination to accomplish. The reason: We’re limited with our self-control.
That’s the idea purported by the strength model. Self-control draws from a common resource that gets depleted over time. You can think of self-control as a muscle—fatigue sets in after exertion.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham and the National Institute of Education in Singapore reviewed 83 studies on self-control to come to the following conclusion:
Results revealed a significant effect of ego depletion on self-control task performance. Significant effect sizes were found for ego depletion on effort, perceived difficulty, negative affect, subjective fatigue, and blood glucose levels.
For those scoring at home, that’s both a psychological and physiological effect on your ability to get work done.
The longer the day goes on, the more fatigue your self-control experiences, the more important it is to make those early morning hours count.
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.
The saying even inspired the title of a best-selling time-management book, Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. Fast Company highlighted Tracy’s work in an article about morning rituals and asked Lifehacker founder Gina Trapani to explain how exactly one implements the frog strategy into a daily system.
Choose your frog.
Once the frog is chosen, Trapani continues, write it down on a piece of paper that you’ll see when you first come into your office the next day. Then when your alarm goes off in the morning or when you arrive at work, bon appétit!
There are many examples of this specific method of frog-eating, a couple examples of which you’ll see below. The concept is something I like to call a Tomorrow List.
At the end of your day, write down the tasks you need to complete tomorrow.
Look at the list when you start the next day.
End your day by creating another list for tomorrow.
And keep repeating.
Steve Jobs’ 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.
quote about today
Pretty powerful stuff. Would asking that question help keep your morning to-dos in perspective?
10 morning rituals of successful people
OK, we’ve talked about the science behind morning rituals, the frogs to eat first thing, and the inspiring questions to ask to get you started. Now it’s time for some specifics.
Here’s how some famous names in history, some entrepreneurs, founders, and executives do first thing in the morning.
Ron Friedman, founder and author
An inspiring morning reminder is one shared by founder and author Ron Friedman. It goes like this:
Ask yourself this question the moment you sit at your desk: The day is over and I am leaving the office with a tremendous sense of accomplishment. What have I achieved?
For many of us, checking email or listening to voice mail is practically automatic. In many ways, these are among the worst ways to start a day. Both activities hijack our focus and put us in a reactive mode, where other people’s priorities take center stage. They are the equivalent of entering a kitchen and looking for a spill to clean or a pot to scrub.
achievement quote robert friedman
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 UK 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.
Benjamin Franklin, a founding father of the United States
Franklin’s much-lauded to-do list (seen below) included some specific rules for how he started each morning. His three-hour block of morning routine stretched from 5:00 to 7:00 a.m. and included addressing “Powerful Goodness” and setting a plan for the rest of his day.
Every morning Franklin asked himself, “What good shall I do today?”
Benjamin Franklin to-do list
P.G. Wodehouse, author and humorist
When Wodehouse woke at 7:30 a.m., he’d head right to the back porch for his “daily dozen” calisthenics. Then he’d come inside and make breakfast (always toast, coffee cake, and tea) and read a “breakfast book,” some sort of entertaining mystery or adventure novel.
(Wodehouse’s writing routine was also quite neat. He’d start by sitting in an armchair, writing a few paragraphs in pencil before moving to the typewriter to write out the rest.)
William Styron, novelist
As evidence that our mornings do not all begin at the same time, look no further than William Styron. He slept until noon, and his “morning” routine involved staying in bed for another hour to think and read.
Eva Chen, editor-in-chief of Lucky magazine
First thing when she wakes up, Chen checks Twitter and her favorite websites. She’ll skip TV because she tends to get sucked in to shows like “reruns of the OC.” After checking the web and putting on makeup, Chen dresses herself from the shoes up.
Once she arrives at the office, her first order of business is a venti green tea.
David Karp, Tumblr founder
Karp saves all of his e-mail until he arrives at work at 9:30 or 10:00 a.m., after a 15-minute walk (or even faster Vespa ride) from home. “If something urgently needs my attention,” he said, “someone will call or text me.” Once at work, email is Karp’s first task. He’ll check his inbox, which contains only emails from Tumblr staff and from his girlfriend. Then he’ll sift through an “unsorted” folder of other emails, all the while making a list in a notebook of the things he needs to get done.
Craig Newmark, Craigslist founder
How does the Craigslist founder start his day? When the question was asked on Quora, Newmark answered: “Customer service.” Few founders have taken the path Newmark has; he considers himself a customer service rep at Craigslist. So while other executives might start their days with meetings or email, Newmark focuses on the customer.
6 tips to form a better morning routine
We’ve talked before on the blog about the daily routines of successful entrepreneurs, including six helpful tips that these successful morning routines had in common.
If you’re interested in starting a great morning routine of your own, here are some ideas.
Eat a good breakfast (it can be fast and easy). Listen to your body clock. Do creative work when it feels best. Set an alarm to wake up and an alarm to go to sleep. Disengage: Zero notifications from apps and phones at night. Develop a morning routine that works on weekends, too. Track your habits to better understand yourself. Over to you: What does your morning ritual look like?
Do you have anything in common with Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Margaret Thatcher, or others? What does your unique morning ritual entail?
Mine has evolved quite a bit over the past several months—and will likely keep evolving. It feels like I’ve settled into a pretty good rhythm with this schedule:
Wake up at 5:30 a.m. Consult my Tomorrow List Head to the computer and start writing a blog post Shower/breakfast at 7:00 a.m. Back to writing I’d love to hear about your routine, too. Feel free to share your morning schedule here in the comments.
Image credits: Jonathan Kos-Read, Theophilos
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What happens when you combine anonymous messaging with college campuses? You get 100,000 users in three months.
Yik Yak knows all about it.
The startup was launched by two Furman University students, Tyler Droll and Brooks Buffington, aiming to connect people through anonymous, location-based posts. Within a five-mile radius, the poster can choose to share with the closest 100, 250, or 500 Yik Yak users. For $.99, users can share with 1,000 people, 2,500 for $1.99, and 10,000 for $5.
We caught up with the founders at last night’s ATL Pitch-Off, and they confirmed the app is mostly used to gripe about things, people, places, classes, and/or anything else gripe-worthy. You can choose to show your general location, and from what I can see, there’s no moderation for someone who uses actual names in posts.
In other words, I could post on Yik Yak that my boss John Biggs picks his nose and no one would stop me from sending that out to a maximum of 10,000 nearby Yik Yak users.
Obviously, bullying issues abound. The company has already faced issues among various colleges, who feel the app violates anti-bullying rules.
As it stands now, posts are deleted when two or more users mark the content as inappropriate, or if someone screenshots offensive content and emails it to Yik Yak.
“We’re working on trying to find technical solutions to prevent app abuse by high schoolers, the blocks that we currently have in place aren’t working as well as we’d like them to,” said Buffington. “One thing that we have seen on the college front is that the longer a community is around the more mature and constructive it becomes. So we think that lends to some promise for the anonymous or semi-anonymous app realm.”
But despite these issues, the app has seriously picked up steam. In three months, with launches on five major southern campuses, the app already has 100,000 monthly active users. More than 15,000 messages go up each day.
Obviously, Secret and Whisper aren’t the only ones cashing in on our love of anonymity.
Currently, the app is being used at University of Georgia, Ole Miss, Clemson, University of Virginia and Wake Forest, and the team has plans to head up the east coast to schools like Penn State, Boston University, NYU, etc.
“We’ll let our competition battle it out in the Valley while we continue to gobble up schools on the East Coast,” said Buffington.
For now, the app already offers in-app purchases to expand reach, but Yik Yak sees an opportunity to run local deals, discounts and ads. But for now, the focus is growing the user base.
Yik Yak has seen investment from Atlanta Capital in the form of a $20,000 convertible note.
they get $10mm
Yik Yak, an anonymous gossip app that launched in November, has raised $10 million from DCM, Azure Capital Partners, Renren Lianhe Holdings and Tim Draper. The fundraise comes just a few months after the company raised a $1.5 million seed round.
The 7-month-old app was founded by two Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers, Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll, who graduated in 2013 from Furman University in South Carolina. The pair worked on a few startup ideas together during their senior year and put their careers on hold to build a company after they graduated. They moved home to their parents' houses in Atlanta, Georgia, worked at Panera, and bootstrapped.
Their first idea, a social poll product called Dicho, didn't gain traction. Droll came up with the next idea, an app that might haven been popular at a small school like Furman, which only has 3,000 students. That idea was Yik Yak, a hyper-local place to rant about anything anonymously with people in your community. Yik Yak posts, which are text-only and limited to 200 characters, can only be read by people in a 1.5 mile radius of the poster.
Droll and Buffington presented Yik Yak to their friends who were still at Furman. But they fibbed and said the app had been built by Harvard students to give it credibility. "It just blew up," Buffington says.
Yik Yak Apple App Store
That Christmas, the pair crafted some email pitches with clever headlines to Greek life organizations on a variety of campuses. Buffington says only one student needs to download Yik Yak for it to snowball; one university had 2,000 people sign up within the first day.
Since January, the founders say growth has been organic and the app is used heavily (by thousands of students) on about 250 campuses. At some of the schools, as many as 10,000 students are on it and 100 new messages are posted every ten minutes. At smaller schools, the app has penetrated 80% of student bodies.
Although the founders claim the majority of content on Yik Yak is positive, some messages are horrific. Like its anonymous predecessor Juicy Campus, Yik Yak has become known as a place for bullying and nasty comments without repercussions for the posters. Its hyper-local nature makes it easy to say something cruel about a specific individual and have it spread, even though the app removes posts that contain people's names.
"K. is a slut," one Connecticut high school student wrote on Yik Yak. "No one asked H. to prom because no one has a forklift," another wrote.
One Silicon Valley investor told Business Insider that his firm had a discussion about apps like Yik Yak and opted not to invest in any of them. The apps, this person said, had a tendency to produce more harm than good, and the firm didn't want to take part in that.
Another investor, Brenchmark's Bill Gurley, wonders how anonymous apps like Yik Yak, Secret or Whisper will make money. Most social networks make money through advertisements, Gurley says, and what advertiser wants to be associated with anonymous self-help and nasty content?
Buffington hopes that in time, people will see Yik Yak for the good it produces and stop associating it with cruel rumormongering.
"When Snapchat first came out, everyone heralded it as a sexting app," he says. "Hopefully when we get passed all of that initially, people will realize Yik Yak is not just a place for gossip."
the key to morninguse
The ability to COPY a note to an existing or new space is key for this usage I think, because then I could just collect notes in this catcher space and COPY them to various specific spaces...
If I could COPY
then I would capture all this stuff I'm googling into notes, and then copy them into the various spaces that hold various topics? i don't know. is that even a problem? Well it'll be nice to have anyway.
however, it'll still work without...
Maybe just A DAILY SPACE FOR YOUR IDEAS and your scattered style is awesome anyway?
They have been trying to cal me, and these are my notes on the conversation.
due june 10 = $1168.94 payment = fees of $771.07
Deferment or forbearance? The robot is checking my deferment status. I got the robot to email me the form.
I now am saying REPRESENTATIVE. Forbearance = i have 26 months left, and she wants me to go to studentloans.gov
A courtesy forbearance and a 60 day hold. In 60 days i'm not required to make a payment while I'm completing my form for income based repayment. She has already generated a latter that she will email me.
On that letter, a link where I can click and log on to download the attachment. Go to navient.com to look at my account.