Early Morning Effectiveness


I’ve always been a morning person. This started early in life – mainly as a function of my parents and their expectations of my brother and I. Mowing lawns, washing cars, weeding, etc…sadly – no cartoons and Lucky Charms for us. Through high school, I worked weekends at a local bakery and that started at 5 AM. This routine has continued my entire life. Sleeping in just ain’t in the cards for me. I’m always up before 5 AM and fast asleep by 10 PM.

It didn’t take an interview with Laura Vanderkam to convince me of the value of mornings. What the interview did, however, was challenge how intentional I am with my time before breakfast. As I reflect on it, 90% of my day is intensely scheduled, prioritized to ensure I maximize my contribution to my employer and also to my family. As a leader at FranklinCovey and a father to three boys under 8 years old, I don’t have a lot of time to languish. Little in my life happens accidentally.

My mornings are fairly frenetic (massive understatement) and I’ve come now to think about how I could invest my time differently – more deliberately. Instead of just being productive early in the mornings, I’m beginning to think about not just how much I can accomplish but specifically what I should accomplish.

I’ve started setting daily early morning goals. I identify something I can tackle before the boys come bounding down the stairs, that could have the biggest post-breakfast impact on my day. Is there something in particular that if completed, set up, or checked off early that could make my entire day more productive, less stressful, or even more relaxing?

Often it’s tackling a hard task, or something I’ve been avoiding, that can make my day more enjoyable.

This seemingly small change in my early morning routine is already paying off. Only two weeks in, but so far I’m seeing the benefit. I take on each day feeling excited and energized when I have a sizable success under my belt before my commute even begins!

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About the Author

Scott Miller

Scott Miller is a 25-year associate of FranklinCovey and serves as Senior Advisor, Thought Leadership. Scott hosts the world’s largest and fastest-growing podcast/newsletter devoted to leadership development, On Leadership. Additionally, Scott is the author of the multi-week Amazon #1 New Releases, Master Mentors: 30 Transformative Insights From Our Greatest Minds, Management Mess to Leadership Success: 30 Challenges to Become the Leader You Would Follow, and the Wall Street Journal bestseller, Everyone Deserves a Great Manager: The 6 Critical Practices for Leading a Team. He lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with his wife and three sons.

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