I drink coffee until lunch. I happily consume the juice of the gods because if done right, it’s delicious. Thank you, Farmer Brothers! The way I see it - when my coffee is done, so is the morning. And I like mornings, so I try to stretch them out as long as possible. I’m most productive in the morning, at least that’s what I tell people who ask.
During social events and conversations, that question comes up a couple of times each year – “are you a morning person or a night owl?” I’ve been pondering this one lately because the experts say to work on the tough stuff first. Mark Twain even said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning, and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” I must agree… at least with the part that says, ‘nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.’ Unless of course, you’re the frog in this scenario.
Dr. Travis Bradberry, cofounder of TalentSmart, takes it a few steps further and recommends that we make a habit of eating three frogs before you check your e-mail, because e-mail is a major distraction that enables procrastination and wastes precious mental energy. Good advice on delaying email and directly attacking the important items first. But three frogs? Dude! I prefer to remind myself that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Granted, I’m sure frogs have plenty of protein, but so do bacon and eggs!
So… after my bacon and eggs, I’ve recently been focused on doing the tough stuff first. And it is working! I’ve written many daunting correspondences, scheduled crucial business discussions over morning coffee, and designed creative works before the clock hits 10:00 a.m.
Of course, I’ve also had some of my most powerful and clear ideas during a late evening shower, just after a 3:00 a.m. sleep disruption, and inside a crowded restaurant during dinner. Sure, I’ve pulled all-nighters, close most socials, arrive early for meetings, and often stay up late working on important items. There are also times I get tired in early evening or can’t stop hitting snooze on the morning bell. Maybe I’m actually a 9:00am to 3:00pm person.
How am I supposed to answer that type of question – what type of person am I? Answer “9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.” and I’m a sloth. Answer “morning” and there may be expectations that 5:00am is an ok time to have a vibrant chat. Answer “evening” and I may be expected to party ‘til the sun comes up.
Sure, I get a second wind. Heck, I’ve had third and fourth winds! One cool moment for me was when my older-self outlasted the younger talent at my place of business. We were only getting 2-hour night naps to support our national meeting. Why? Because we had a commitment to produce a daily printed newsletter for the 3,000 employees that attended the event. This had never been done before – so, we wrote all day, printed all night, and delivered in the early morning – for five consecutive days. Coffee was an important tool to getting it done.
My advice. Get the tough stuff done when you’re at your best, on that day. If you arise with a spark – go for it. If you’re sleepy throughout the day, work out and hit the tough stuff later that evening. I’m no scientist, just a genuine individual looking to help others. And what I do know is that we’re all unique.
Breakfast with coffee is my favorite meal. Of more concern, according to doctor Christy C. Tangney, a clinical dietitian at Rush University Medical Center, is that an association has been found between skipping breakfast and other risky behaviors like smoking, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol.” That statement, however, dips into the tools of how I conquer my evening activities.
Hmmm. Now, I’m quite clear in what area of my life I need to work on next.
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