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Book Review: What Successful People Do Before Breakfast by Laura Vanderkam

You only have to be a parent six minutes to know that one lost, but essential item can wreck a morning faster than a corporate bankruptcy. Many time management books ignore instances like this one, so I wasn't sure what to expect from the new ebook, What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings--and Life (Portfolio, 2012) by Laura Vanderkam. Vanderkam's book 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think , changed my relationship to time for the better, so I immediately ordered her new ebook.

I waited impatiently for it to download to my Kindle, only to realize I had pre-ordered it. I offered to review the book here in exchange for an early peek and I was immediately granted the PDF. Thank you, Laura!

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I've already come clean about my pre-dawn working hours, and I like my routine, so when I opened Before Breakfast, I had a few questions: Could people--especially women--whose lives do not jive with day planners that run from 8-6 p.m. use this book? Would it be written in Vanderkam's usual well-researched style? Would I be able to get anything out of it, given that I love my current morning routine (made over, of course, after reading 168 Hours)?

Vanderkam alleviated my fear that this would be another "schedule yoga before the kids wake up" book with her first sentence, which recognizes the unintentional craziness of mornings:

Mornings are a madcap time in many households. Like mine. On mornings when I am responsible for getting my three children fed...

Vanderkam's usual well-researched writing style is also present. Vanderkam makes unusual connections between how successful people choose to spend mornings and research regarding willpower. Vanderkam explains that our willpower is fresh in the morning. Couple this with what researchers know about making decisions (we wear ourselves out making decisions so any time we can make fewer decisions, we will reserve energy), we'll be able to use our willpower longer each day. By having a routine, the decision making and employment of willpower is somewhat removed.

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