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Archive for August, 2012

How much does the first hour of every day matter? As it turns out, a lot.

What do you do with the first hour of your day to increase productivity and reduce stress?

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Mark Twain. Twain famously said that if the first thing you do in the morning is eat a live frog, you can go through the rest of the day knowing the worst is behind you. Your frog is your worst task, and you should do it first thing in the morning.

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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.”

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Make a simple list of

  1. What I’m NOT going to do today [Distractions]
  2. What I’m going to do today [Productivity]

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Kenneth Chenault once said in an interview that the last thing he does before leaving the office is to write down the top 3 things to accomplish tomorrow, then he uses that list to start his day the following morning.

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Do what you love. Love what you do.

“When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, 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.” — Steve Jobs

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