The Most Important Hour of the Day

I am mostly offline, attending a business conference. I have asked several bloggers to post in my absence. This is a guest post by Kimanzi Constable. He blogs about finding your passion in your work and practical helps for everyday work issues. You can follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar. You hear the alarm clock go off in the morning. You just need a couple more minutes of sleep, so you hit the snooze button.

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/alvarez

Ten minutes later, the alarm clock goes off, but you’re already sound asleep. Thirty minutes later, you wake up in a panic. You just overslept and are going to be late.

You rush out of bed, throw on whatever you can find and head to the bathroom. You look at your toothbrush and tell yourself there’s no time. You gargle, grab whatever is in the fridge for lunch and you’re off.

As you’re heading to the door, you see your Bible on the table, but you don’t have time. You get in your car, praying there will be no traffic. You get on the highway, and it’s bumper-to-bumper.

Whatever shot you had of having a good day is gone. The whole way to work, you’re thinking up excuses of why you’re late.

The rest of your day, you’re dropping things and running into people. It becomes one of those days you completely want to forget.

You get home, and you’re already worked up. Any little thing sets you off. You can’t wait for bed!

Now, your day may not have gone exactly like this, but you’ve had days that were close, right? How you spend the first hour of your day will determine how well the rest of it goes.

You can have a bad first hour and turn it around, but nine times out of ten, if you have a bad first hour, the rest of your day is ruined. Here are four tips for having a great first hour of the day:

  1.  Get things prepared the night before. Right before you go to bed, set yourself up for the next day. Get your clothes ready, and put them in a spot where you can grab them in the morning. If you have to iron, do it that night.

    Grab everything you’ll need in the morning and put it in one spot, so you can wake up and have it ready to go. If you make your own lunch, have it ready in the fridge. Do as much prep work as you can to eliminate the hectic morning routine.

  2.  Get enough sleep. You have to get a good amount of rest. What that amount is—that’s up to you. For the last ten years, I have delivered bread, waking up as early as nine p.m. to three a.m. at the latest.

    For the longest time I would get between two to four hours of sleep. Do I need to tell you how rough the first hour of the day was for me?

    When I got home I wouldn’t make it if I didn’t take a nap. The problem was the nap would cut into whatever time I wanted to write, do activities with my family, or any projects I wanted to do. Your body needs enough sleep for you to function properly all day. It’s just not natural to not get enough sleep.

  3. Get up a little early and have devotions. That quite time you spend in the morning, reading God’s Word and praying, will calm you and prepare you for the day.

    The verses you read as a part of that first hour of the morning will be your shield. Even if you can only spare twenty minutes, it can go a long way to ensure a positive, stress-free day.

  4. Use every minute of that first hour wisely. When I started the bread route, I would do devotions for twenty minutes, then my morning workout for another twenty minutes, then shower and head to work.

    During that workout time, I would listen to some soothing music or a podcast that inspired me. Using every minute of that first hour helped keep me focused throughout the day. I was intentional with my time, which led to amazing results.

Are you in a “funk” lately and wonder why? You might feel like that those few minutes of sleep is just what your body needs, but that’s not true.

When that alarm clock goes off, wake up and hit the ground running. Make sure you give yourself the proper amount of rest the night before.

Spend that time with the Lord and prepare yourself for all the stresses life will throw at you. And get encouraged with some of the amazing content we all have available to us.

Question: How do you normally spend your first hour? How does the rest of your day turn out? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Thank you Michael Hyatt for this amazing opportunity to share my work on this blog which I have learnt and grown so much from, I’m truly honored!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       We’re glad to have you posting today Kimanzi! What a great post and reminder of the most important hour.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Thanks Joe, it truly is!

    • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

      Thanks for sharing Kimanzi. I enjoyed it.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Thank you Rob for reading and commenting!

    • http://www.viewsfromtheouthouse.blogspot.com/ Mark S. R. Peterson

      Thanks, Kimanzi, for the wonderful message.  I’ve followed your posts on Dan Miller’s 48 Days site too.  It’s a fantastic reminder of how important it is to start your day on the right footing–God’s footing.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Thank you Mark for reading both posts and you’re absolutely right about God’s footing.

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        Amen to God’s footing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jonstolpe Jon Stolpe

    I’m up right when the alarm goes off.  I typically spend the first hour of my day reading the Bible and praying, exercising (running or walking), and blogging.  I’ve found that breakfast is a huge part of starting right also.  I don’t miss breakfast before I walk out the door to work.

    Starting this way doesn’t mean my day is always perfect, but I generally feel good throughout the day.

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       Good point on breakfast Jon. Without the energy we get from a morning breakfast, our bodies can lag and drag us down.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       I’m a huge believer in breakfast!

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

         I’m not so much.  I find that if I eat breakfast, I’m starving by lunch.  If I don’t eat, I can make it just fine to lunchtime.  My energy level doesn’t seem to change whether I eat or not.  So I use the time more as a fast and not so much as a breaking of the fast.

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

      Like Joe, I noticed the breakfast thing as well. I know some people work out then eat. I eat a light breakfast before exercising then some fruit, usually citrus, after I get back from the gym. It’s the desire for exercise and the camaraderie on the basketball court that really makes it easier to get up early. It’s the devotional time and breakfast that prepare my heart, mind, soul, and body for a good start to the whole day.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Keep up the good work TNeal, that devotional time really does prepare you for what the day will throw at you.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      You have a great routine Jon, I love exercising in the morning, it gives you so much energy.

  • Pingback: Morning Rituals | MIKE DELLOSSO

  • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

    I usually wake before the alarm goes off. I’ll spend the first few minutes reading the One Year Bible (my goal for this year), journal my thoughts into a notebook, and then exercise. On the way to work, I’ll listen to the Daily Audio Proverb on my iPod to help me focus on God’s wisdom and prepare my mind for the day. 

    As Jon mentioned, my day isn’t always perfect. But the process helps me slay the dragons of worry and anxiousness early in the day. 

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      Your comment reminded me of Michael’s post, “Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast” (http://michaelhyatt.com/slay-your-dragons-before-breakfast.html). Thought I’d post the link here, as it’s a great add-on to today’s post.

      • http://recreationalwordslinger.wordpress.com/ RecreationalWordSlinger

         I thought the same thing Michele!

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        That was an awesome post, thanks for the reminder.

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        I have that post mounted above my desk at work. 

    • Jim Martin

      Steve, I relate to your last sentence very well.  I find that my morning practice/habit really helps with worry and anxiety.  On the other hand, when  I am out of rhythm, worry/anxiety can hover over me.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I’ve found the same thing Jim.

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        My day never goes well unless I start it with prayer and reading scripture. Some time ago, I read a book by Frank E. Peretti called “This Present Darkness.” Interesting book. In the story, God would not send down angels to help the people of Ashton fight off satan’s army unless they prayed. So there were some angels who were determined to coax the people to pray to bring in more angels to fight. Amazing book. 

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Great routine Steve and it’s awesome that you get to listen to more great inspiration on the way to work. Keep slaying those dragons!

  • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

    How I spend my first hour depends upon which day it is. 

    Monday, Wednesday, Friday I wake up at 6 and start reading my bible. Then it is time to read a devotional book. After that it is a little bit of computer time or spending time with my wife.

    Tuesdays and Thursdays I’m up at 5 and hitting either the elliptical or the road running for half an hour. Next comes another 15 minutes or so of exercising. Finally bible reading and devotional.

    Saturdays and Sundays are all over the board.

    For the most part this works out for me. The days tend to go smoothly and well.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       So M/W/F you get to sleep in. ;) I like your routine, Joe. Sounds like a good one.

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         Funny! And, yes, six does seem like sleeping in these days (and this from a converted night owl).

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          It’s all a matter of perspective. On Saturday we sleep in until 7. It feels wickedly self-indulgent. ;)

          • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

            I’m a cursed morning person who wakes up at 5AM every morning. Of course now with the time change, it will be 6AM. 

        • http://timewithtracy.com/ Time With Tracy

          What is your secret for converting from night owl to morning person? I’ve tried unsuccessfully for years.

          • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

            I used to be a nightowl also and it just happened with time. As my work schedules changed I found myself making myself go to bed earlier(I used to be able to stay awake until 2 or so in the morning and be awake by 6 or 7). 

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

            In all honesty, I can attribute the change to three things. I love to play basketball with the guys at 6:30 in the morning (I hated that hour but that’s when they got together). Then we cut cable TV in podunk Wisconsin surrounded by hills (lovely scenery, lousy reception). I don’t stay up late to see sports or my favorite shows. And beginning the morning with prayer, coffee, and devotions. Until I started praying first (just whenever it happened, which was seldom), I really struggled. Now it’s a habit that I love. And I suppose a 4th change–the addition of a puppy last summer. She just looks at me now in the mornings but, in the early days, she needed to go out around 5:00 in the AM. Somehow irritation (darn, stupid dog) proved a blessing (although she’s still not the brightest egg in the Easter basket).

          • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

             My change was forced.  I found that I was way more productive in the mornings.  So I made myself change.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

         I’ve never been a big fan of sleeping in, but I suppose you could consider it sleeping in three days a week!

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          I’ve woken up at 2 am for the last ten years, I would kill to sleep in, even until 6 am!

          • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

            6am for me is early!

          • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

             2am is 3-4 hours too early for me! I don’t know how you do it.

          • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

            I do it with the end in mind, no more next year!

    • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

      How do you make Tuesday and Thursday mornings successful? I find that I have a really hard time making it work if I break my normal sleep pattern.

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

        Good question Rob. To be honest, I put my mind to it and set the alarm clock. I also make myself go to bed an hour or so earlier on the night before. This allows me to get my normal amount of sleep.

        After a couple of weeks it became my normal pattern.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I find the same thing Rob

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      I’m jealous of your routine Joe, can we trade for a week?

      • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

         Nah Kimanzi. I don’t think I could pull your schedule.

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          You never know until you try!

  • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

    Kimanzi, this is a great look in the mirror for me.  Six months ago, my answer would have been right along the same lines as the others here.  After reading this and seeing everyone’s routines, I realize how far off my routine I have strayed.

    I appreciate the reminder!  I am going to get back on track…tomorrow!

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      But tomorrow is Saturday.  :-)  Good luck on your new routine!

      • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

        For me, Saturday is no different…I am in the car business! That gives me one additional opportunity for good habits!

        • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

           But what about Sunday and the change to daylight savings time? You’ve chosen a tough tomorrow/weekend to change your morning routine. Do wish you the best in your efforts. I fully expect you’ll do well and be back on track.

          • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

            Come on, Tom!  

            I am TOUGH…it’s not like I am from Texas.I can handle this!

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

             You are too funny, my man. A real peach of a guy.

          • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

            Thanks!  

            BTW, I received a good looking book from Amazon today!  I cannot wait to dive into it!  You should check it out…

            Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes

          • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

             I’m not lurking and constantly checking my email but I seem to check it within minutes of your postings. Now fear and trepidation sets in. Oh, my goodness, someone other than my wife is about to read my novel. Hey, thanks for the support.

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          I think starting the routine will help your sales as well, maybe give you more focus?

          • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

            I agree, Kimanzi.  I am getting up early every morning now, but my choices as to how I spend the time have drifted from my original intent.

            Rather than starting with Scripture, journaling, and prayer, I have been going to the computer first.  Some days, I have run out of time and found I never read the Bible or prayed.  Ridiculous!

            I need to go back to the basics and then move to blogs like this and other material if I have the time.

            Thanks for the reminder!

          • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

            Amen to that Chris and I will pray for you.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        No time better then the present, right?

        • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

          Exactly!

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        It’s the weekend eve!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you for reading and commenting Chris and I know how you feel. Immediate action is the key and I know you’ll be successful!

      • http://www.ChristianFaithAtWork.com/ Chris Patton

        Thanks for the confidence!

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          You’re welcome

    • http://timewithtracy.com/ Time With Tracy

      I’m in the same boat, Chris. In serious need of getting back on track with this. Or maybe I should admit, get on track to begin with! I’ve always struggled to keep a disciplined routine like this. Great reminders and encouragement from everyone here!

  • http://www.alslead.com/ Dave Anderson

    As an ex-Army guy, waking up seems to come naturally.  I agree with your premise Kimanzi, my good days start with a good 1st hour.

    My good days start with my Bible.  I write my prayers in my journal so I can review them at the end of the year to see God’s hand in my life.  Then I too work out.  The greatest joy is my 14 year old son is now joining me for my early morning workouts on tuesday and thursday.  

    It is time with him I look forward to and I am sure I will miss in 4 years.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

      I love that, Dave. I have a 15 y/o. Every morning I get up and make him breakfast so we can spend the first 30 minutes of the day together before he heads off to school. I will miss it terribly when he graduates!

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I have a 12 year old, so I have a few more years to enjoy that time.

      • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

        Wow. What a great mom!

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Thank you, Steve. I make a lot of mothering mistakes, but at least I have breakfast covered. ;)

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       How far away from the ex (for me, almost 35 years removed)? Dave, I see the value in keeping a journal and reviewing it. I am reminded of a routine we did as a family when my son was young. We’d use lunch or supper to review God’s provision for the day then write our God sightings down and put the notes in a coffee can. From time to time, we’d review how the Lord had provided for us in the past. We did this while we served as missionaries in the Russian Far East.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I don’t keep a journal like that but it makes alot of sense, something I’ll have to look into.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thanks for reading and commenting Dave and your routine is awesome. That’s super cool that your son is with you!

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com/ Patricia Zell

    I ease into my day–I get up about an hour and a half before I want to be at school. I wake up (no snooze button for me) and I start talking to God (a conversation that never ends). I tell Him how much I love Him and how much I want every single person to know and understand His absolute love. Then I turn on the tv to catch up on what is happening in the world (still talking to God). Very occasionally, I’ll have to go through two or three outfits to find something I want to wear, but I’ve built in enough time that this process normally doesn’t affect my day.

    I also think that what I do when I get to school affects the rest of my day, too. I get there early so that I can ease into my day. As I make my way upstairs to my room, I greet all who I meet with a smile and encourage them to have an excellent day. Making the decision to start my day off telling God how much I love Him and being kind to other people makes all the difference in the world to me.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thanks for adding some much value with this comment Patricia, we pray in the morning but do our own thing throughout the day. The only way to have true victory is that continous time with the Lord.

  • http://candelierious.blogspot.com Lis

    Such a good point!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Amen!

  • http://twitter.com/Juanbg Juan

    Definitely great post, it is about being proactive, doing today what it needs to be done tomorrow! when you begin with the end in mind, you want to do it now,not tomorrow.
    Thanks Mike

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you for commenting Juan, great point.

  • http://chrisvonada.com chris vonada

    Great post Kimanzi, excellent for “spring forward” weekend!!

    I am so thankful not to have this issue, I wake up usually by 4:30 without an alarm and spend my quiet time with the Lord, this really sets the tone for my whole day. The down side to this early schedule is that I usually am fading early afternoon.

    • Miranda

      Chris, the good thing about our faith is that, it allows us to go boldly before the throne of God anytime to seek grace. Just as you’ve made it a routine to have your quiet time with the Lord every morning at 4:30a.m., perhaps you could have a short time of prayer sometime during lunch break to carry you the rest of the day. I have learned that prayer always strengthens me. Jesus too was strengthened when He prayed. Over time, it could become your routine. Just thought to encourage you with this.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Great point Miranda, thanks for adding value!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thanks for the kind words Chris, It’s awesome that you got a great routine!

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com Ed_Cyzewski

    Thanks for this list. One of my struggles has been falling asleep. I can get to bed, but it’s hard to turn myself off once I’m there. I’ve found that a few things help:

    - Avoid reading interesting books before bed.
    - Avoid creative writing before bed (I can only jot down ideas on sticky notes)
    - Plan tomorrow’s schedule at the end of the WORK day, not before bed.
    - Do some stretching before bed to release tension. 
    - Mentally tell myself that it’s time to sleep, not to let my mind wander. 

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      Ed –

      I love your avoiding of creative writing before bed rule…and the sticky note solution!

      I’ve working on a major writing project for a month and discovered that if I kept working right up ’til bedtime, I could not sleep…usually because I’d written myself into a corner and was frustrated.

      Stopping earlier (which Tom blogged about a week ago) and keeping Post-Its by my bed is an excellent solution!

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I’m with you on the writing Cheri!

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        For me, this is piano practice into the late hours of the night. I need to learn to stop when it gets to a certain time of the night.

    • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

       Great suggestions, Ed. I’ll add one to your list.

      A lot of research has been done on the impact of artificial light (i.e. television, computer screen, iPhone, etc.) on the sleep process. It’s been found to interfere with melatonin production, simulating daytime hours, which then makes it more difficult to fall asleep. It’s recommended to avoid any kind of lit “screen” at least one hour before bed.

      • http://www.inamirrordimly.com Ed_Cyzewski

        I’m going to act like you didn’t just write that Michele. It’s hockey season. ;)

        • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

          Lol. That’s fair. Love hockey. ;)

        • http://timewithtracy.com/ Time With Tracy

          It’s important to note here that March Madness begins in less than 5 days. I’m doomed. :)

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        This is a point I need to use Michele, did not know that.

    • http://recreationalwordslinger.wordpress.com/ RecreationalWordSlinger

       I keep Post-Its by my bed to jot down any reminders before I fall asleep because I just forget them in the morning if I don’t!

      I will try your stretching suggestions tonight…that sounds nice!

      • http://www.inamirrordimly.com Ed_Cyzewski

        My physical therapist said that the key is to a good stretch is to tense things up a lot and then release the tension. So even just stretching your arms in random directions will work–albeit, you’ll look odd. :)

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I’m trying it as well.

    • Jim Martin

      Ed, these are great suggestions.  (I need to pay attention to the first one!)  Thanks so much.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you for reading Ed, sleep is something I’ve struggled with as well, but it’s so important.

    • http://runningwithhorses.wordpress.com/ Steve Hawkins

      I’d suggest writing in a journal. For me, it’s like emptying air out of a balloon. All my problems are transferred onto paper and I can go to bed with a worryless mind. Vitamin B5 helps too. 

      • http://www.inamirrordimly.com Ed_Cyzewski

        I need the brevity of sticky notes. Once I start journaling, my mind ramps up.

  • http://www.repaintingthewalls.com/ Mike Berry

    This is great and so true. I wrote about a similar thing a few weeks back on my leadership blog and got a lot of feedback. Seems people are hungry to figure out how to change this area of their life. Great post.  

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thanks for reading and commenting Mike. People are hungry and us bloggers need to keep spreading the message.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this post!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you for reading, do you have a good first hour routine?

      • Anonymous

        Yes. I’m flexible as to when I wake up since I work in the ER, but pretty much this is my routine: 
        wash my face, brush my teeth, have some coffee, read the Bible, Read a bunch of other stuff  including catch up on the web, Run, then tackle everything else. Been doing it for 15 years. It works. 

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          You’ve found something that works, that’s awesome, thanks for sharing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/amy.fiedler Amy Fiedler

    I definitely agree, but what about the most important MEAL of the day?  Do you eat breakfast?  I couldn’t stand waiting more than an hour to eat in the morning because I’m hungry almost immediately.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Great point Amy, I usual don’t get a “normal” breakfast because I work at 2am. Just little snacks throughout the day.

  • Twizzlersgirl

    I am  in total agreement with these suggestions, but am in a season of life where it is challenging to control my morning routine.  (Not completely impossible, but definitely challenging.)  I am a stay-at-home mom with a 2 year old and she is still learning how to sleep through the night, plus she wakes up very early and never at the exact same time.  Plus, I work from home and have to do my work at night after she goes to bed, which limits how early I can get to bed myself.  So, between going to bed around 11pm, frequently being awaken in the middle of the night and then having to wake up with her at the crack of dawn (and immediately be “on” as a mom the moment I wake up), I am trying to figure out how to apply these principles in this season of my life.  

    • Twizzlersgirl

      Any suggestions and/or encouragement is appreciated. :)

      • katt

        Have grace with yourself. Period. My kids just turned 3, 5 and 7. For years, I felt guilty for not being productive or consistent enough. But, the truth is, the ‘young child’ stage is a season where so many other rules don’t apply. Don’t worry about it. Instead get sleep. Take care of yourself. And know that eventually time will open up where you can institute an earlier routine. I just got to that point where I can get up at 5 and have that time to myself, but I had to take several years off while the kids were young. And I wish I’d known then the extra measure of Grace that comes along with it.

        • Twizzlersgirl

          Thank you!  I appreciate that encouragement and reminder of grace.

        • http://www.bethweststudio.wordpress.com/ beth

           I agree with Katt.  I have 8 children and it seemed like when they were little, it didn’t matter how early I tried to get up, as soon as I’d grabbed my coffee and settled on the couch with my Bible, there they would be!  But hang in there, they turn into teenagers who can sleep till noon with no problem :)

          • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

            Thanks for commenting Beth!

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          great points katt and thanks for the advice, I believe it can help

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        My encouragement to you is to sleep while you can during this season of life!  As a mom, I understand the frustration of deciding to get up early, and of course that morning your child gets up early too. Just realize that this precious time with a toddler is fleeting, and you have the rest of your life to work out a schedule.  I think mommies of little ones should do their devotions during the day. Mornings seem impossible, and at night we are too tired!

        Finally, check into a MOPS group (mops.org).  Mothers of Preschoolers is a great organization (nationwide) to provide encouragement and nurture to moms of little ones during that very busy season of life.  

        Be blessed Twizzlersgirl! Motherhood is filled with long days and short years.  Don’t beat yourself up, just make a schedule that works for you until your days (& nights!) are more routine.

        • Twizzlersgirl

          Thank you.  I just needed to hear that.  (And yes, I am in a Moms group at church and it helps so much!)

          - Carrie

          • Jim Martin

            Carrie, you are right.  You are in a season of life where much the schedule that some of us have early in the morning just won’t work for you.  

            With a 2 year old, you are in a very unpredictable time of life.  One of the most godly things you can do at times is to sleep and so be able to be a more rested mother for your 2 yr old.  

            This season will pass.  In the meantime, there may be other ways to nourish your life and soul.  

          • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

            Prayer is a way to refresh!

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          Great advice Kelly and the website sugesstion.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        The only thing I could say is to be intentional with your time, if something is not a priority, then don’t do it. I’m sure you have done so but cut out any distractions. Prayer, ask the Lord for wisdom and strength!

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      Carrie –

      The day WILL come when your daughter wakes up and can self-entertain for a while so that you don’t have to be up and “on” with her. 

      Both my kids (now turning 21 and 20!) were active as could be, but they learned early that during the day we would have “Mom Time.” I kept it short — 5-10 minutes at first — and used a timer. They knew that if they played quietly while Mama read, “rested her eyes,” whatever, then when the timer rang, I would be 100% theirs. However, if they interrupted, something they wanted to do would either not happen or be shortened.

      They learned this so well as they got older that on days I was sick or stressed, they often conferred and suggested, “We think you need Mom Time!”

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Again, thanks for the great advice Cheri

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      That truly is a rough situation but i would encourage you to find some more sleep. I know it’s easier said then done but I have been lacking sleep for ten years, normally getting between 3 to 6 hours and I feel like I lost years of my life! I’ll be praying for you!

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Great post, Kimanzi. The first hour of the day is so important. If I oversleep, my whole day is disrupted. As an interesting side note, you can tell the early risers in Michael’s audience by how early they post here. 

    My day usually starts at 4am, with breakfast, coffee, a devotional, and a quick look at what Michael has posted for the day. From there it is usually a comment, and time to get my day planned out. I try to get in at least one 48 minute focused work session before I have to go to work.

    As a morning person, trying to do creative things at night just doesn’t work, so if I wake up late my creative time for the day is gone. It’s great to see everyone’s morning rituals. I may have to steal some good ideas today…

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      I love what you said about the early risers posting here. I am usually around #18-28 posting. And the same person is usually #1, although today Kimanzi beat him!  Isn’t it funny how we can “see” each other’ routines online?  Great observation.

      • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

        It also points out what time zones people are in. You guys in the south and on the east coast definitely have an advantage over us late comers on the west coast.

        • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

          Good grief – you’re on the west coast?  I visit around 8 am EST, after the kiddos leave for school.  Well, I am impressed that you are here this early.

          • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

            I’m West Coast, too, but I don’t get up ’til 5:30 and my commenting usually starts around 6:30. The “first poster” worms are long gone!  ;-)

          • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

            I’m in the midwest and centrel time zone

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I’m already two hours into work when Michael post goes up so I wait until after work, not today :)

    • Jim Martin

      John, like you I enjoy hearing the morning habits of different people.  It helps me think through what I typically do.  Thanks.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thanks for the kind words John, I wake up at 2 am everyday so I can relate. I will be stealing some of these idea’s as well!

  • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

    Kimanzi, you are right on with the post.  I feel like I spend those first hours of the morning packing lunches, making breakfast, packing up book-bags and getting wee ones dressed and ready for school. By the time everyone is out the door I feel like I’ve worked a full day!  I hate the thought of waking up even earlier to have some “me” time (with God) but I think that is what it might take.

    • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

      Kelly – 

      Are you able to bring the busy-ness to a halt after everyone leaves and then settle in to time with God?

      My problem for many years was that I told myself I was going to, but my Choleric nature was already up and running. So I had to get up early for quiet time or it didn’t happen.

      But I can imagine that someone with better discipline could get up for a few starting minutes of worship, get the family out the door, and then really hunker down for some serious spiritual nourishment of her own!

      • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

        Cheri – I’m like you. I “intend” to do my quiet time after every one leaves, but then I get to the dishwasher, laundry, email, etc. etc., and it doesn’t get done. Thankfully I am in a Bible study with homework, so that keeps me in the Word regularly.

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          Exactly what Micahel takes about with being intentional with your time!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      I completely understand Kelly, we usuallly get the kids lunches ready the night before so my wife can wake up and have that time with the Lord, I’m at work by then. Thanks for reading and commenting Kelly.

  • Nathan

    Ive started combining my morning workout with my morning commute. It take a bit of pre-planning, but saves me lots of time and that first hour is already being multitasked.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      If it works for you and helps your day then keep it up!

  • Lydia

    “Seek ye  first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.”  Matthew 6:33

    My days are always better when I have spent time with the Lord.
     

    • http://www.kellycombs.com/ Kelly Combs

      Amen Lydia! 

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Amen Lydia!

  • http://www.justcris.com/ Cris Ferreira

    For a few months now I’ve been waking up one hour before, so I guarantee my time with God. I pray, read the Bible and do my devotional. When I’m done, I share a verse from my devotional on the social media, so my friends have some inspiration to start their days too.
    My current challenge is to go to sleep earlier at night. I usually stay up late watching TV or reading, and I lose track of time. I think I will have to set an alarm for my limit time when I have to turn off everything, put my book away and just go to sleep.
    Great post, thanks for the advice!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you for reading and commenting Cris, that’s a good routine, I would encourage you to make sure you do get that sleep, we under estimate how much we need sleep!

  • http://underthecoverofprayer.wordpress.com/ Jan Cox

    Hi Kimanzi,

    My days used to be like that too. I would rush in the morning, and being rushed always led to being stressed. I told a mentor I didn’t have time for devotions or prayer in the morning. She suggested I ask God to wake me up.

    You can well imagine for a new Christian this advice sounded ridiculous. But I was determined to try it. I went to bed and asked God to wake me at 6:00 am. I awoke at 6:00 and as I gazed at the clock I said, “Oh I think I had better arise.” I did. For several days after that I said the same prayer and God woke me each day at 6am.

    I have not used an alarm clock since except for 4am risings for airplanes and God would probably wake me for that too if I asked.

    That morning time made all the difference in my life. At peace, contented and with boundless energy to work for Him.

    Blessings,
    Jan

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      That’s an awesome story Jan and you have a very wise mentor! It really does make a difference in your day, I’m glad you’re on top of things.

  • http://cherionethingivelearned.blogspot.com/ Cheri Gregory

    My husband and I both get up at 5:30 AM. We used to head straight out to the garage to work out, he on the weights and me on the elliptical. 

    Then I discovered that I my mindset for the entire day is set in a far better direction if I spend my first hour with a glass of water, my Bible, uplifting music…and eventually a few favorite blogs. :-)So I join him at 6:30 AM. Even on weekends, I aim not to “sleep in.” I don’t set an alarm, but my body typically wakes me up right around 5:30 (and when it doesn’t, three active cat bodies do!)

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       For me, before-school basketball gets me out of bed but devotions get me started in the right direction. I drink a glass of water as I prepare my first cup of coffee to be enjoyed while I read Scripture followed by a daily devotional. This routine is less than a year in the making but, as a one-time non-early riser, I’ve come to delight in the morning routine. Your mornings sound pretty inviting to me as well.

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I like your routine TNeal, congrats on the new book!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Awesome routine Cheri!

  • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

    I’m up right when the alarm goes off – 5:45. I have 5 kids still living at home, and the first heads off to highschool at 6:45. The last takes off around 9. I have no choice but to hit the ground running! But you’re so right, Kimanzi. How I spend that first hour really sets the pace and tone for the rest of the day. I especially like #1, get ready the night before. We’ve started doing this with the little ones too, and it’s made a huge difference in how the morning progresses. 

    • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

       I’d agree, Michele, with you on #1. Prep the night before is one bit of advice I can add to my routine to make the mornings smoother. I think I’d include reflection over the day past and organizing my schedule for the day next to my evening’s preparations. I don’t usually end with that.

      • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

        Good idea. I’ve also found that if I lay out my workout clothes the night before, I’m much more likely to go for my run!

        • http://timewithtracy.com/ Time With Tracy

          I’m oftentimes too tired at night to do all the prep work for the next morning (put out clothes, make lunches, etc). But I’ve found that when I do, the day ALWAYS goes more smoothly. It’s a matter of disciplining myself to take the time, because I know the strategy works. When I don’t pack my gym bag the night before, I have been known to forget critical things. Like shoes. Or deodorant!

          • http://www.MicheleCushatt.com/ Michele Cushatt

            I understand completely. Here’s my trick: I do all the prep work for the next day after cleaning up the dinner dishes and before I sit down on the couch with my husband. The minute I finally stop moving for the day, I’m a goner. ;)

      • Jim Martin

        Good suggestion regarding getting ready for the next day.  I like what you suggest regarding organizing your schedule for the next day.  I generally do this early in the morning but I can see the advantage of doing this the night before.

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          Thanks Jim

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Thanks TNeal, it might help you take your routine one step farther!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      You’re an expert Michele, preparing the night before has made a huge difference for our family.

  • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

    In my first month blogging, I wrote “Choices” ( http://tnealtarver.com/2011/04/21/choices/ ) about how I start my morning. When I wrote that almost one year ago, I had just started making prayer my first choice of the day. I’ve maintained that daily routine ever since. My days start well and go well almost without exception.

    Kimanzi, I appreciate your practical wisdom which incorporates more than daily devotions in your first hour. I think prayer and Scripture are essential, but your article offers sound counsel for the whole of life. Well done and God bless.–Tom

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you so much Tom and for all the awesome comments, you’re good and I pray your new books does amazing!

      • http://www.tnealtarver.wordpress.com TNeal

         Thanks, Kimanzi, for the kind words. As an author with my firstborn, I check on its Amazon health from time to time. I searched for “Dark Eyes, Deep Eyes” at the beginning of the week and it came up #6. Today it’s #1 in that same keyword search. It’s a small thing but we new papas like to show off our babies.

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          That’s awesome Tom, I knwo how hard it is to sell books, congrats!

  • Lorraine

    Very good advice here in the blog and in the comments. I have found I have a little problem with implementation.

    Wake early–check (4:30, 5:30, nearly always before 6 a.m. alarm) Reading every morning–check. But I need help to Stop reading, bookworm that I am, and then comes the morning rush-around. Anyone else have this morning problem and a solution?

    Oh, and here’s a tip if you do run out of time for breakfast .  During morning break — 1/3 cup Hodson Mill’s stone-milled instant oatmeal (or mixed grains cereal) in a large cup and hot water. Makes the tastiest fast hot healthy cereal I’ve found.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      If you’re a big reader maybe try some audio books while you go through your routine?

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    Great post, Kimanzi!
    I’ve found that my morning time is *so* crucial in setting the pace for the rest of my day. Especially my morning devotions. I’m not legalistic, and I don’t believe that there’s anything magical about the morning time. But for me, it has been very important.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you Loren and as usual you make some great points!

  • http://www.robsorbo.com/p/welcome-from-disqus.html Rob Sorbo

    Great post. I practice these first-hour principles and I can definitely tell the difference between my life now and the life I had before I did them.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you Rob and for the awesome comments!

  • http://www.lincolnparks.com Lincoln Parks

    Kimanzi, this also helps that you are passionate about what you do. Also, some people are in a situation where they have no choice. You laid out great points to help us all jump start our days. Steps #2 is where i get tripped up and its all because I didn’t prepare the day prior. Great points, and congrats on being featured on this blog.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      As always Lincoln, thank you for the kind words, and I know you can beat point two!

  • http://www.BrianJones.com/ Brian Jones

    I started doing exactly what you suggested about two weeks ago. Made all the difference in the world for the rest of my days. The problem is sticking to the routine – up at 4:30am, etc . I’m great at planning. Less so at resolve. 

    • http://charlielyons.ca Charlie Lyons

      “I’m great at planning. Less so at resolve.” Ditto. I can relate. :)

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        Do you have a pretty good routine Charlie?

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Amen to that Brian, easier said then done but if you keep working at it you’ll eventaully develop habits that will stay with you. You won’t have to struggle with them once they become great habits.

  • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

    Excellent post, Kimanzi.  You are so right. This has motivated me to get back to my first hour of the day schedule. I have gotten slack. I would get up and walk for 30 to 40 minutes. During that time I would meditate on a passage of scripture I  studied the night before and I would pray. This was so refreshing to meditate, pray and walk in the cool of the morning before the work day began. This would set the right atmosphere for my day no matter what I encountered.  Thanks for sharing.

    • Jim Martin

      Bernard, as I read your post, I thought about a similar experience.  For a long time, I would get up in the morning, read my Bible/pray, and then read a portion of some book that I enjoyed.  All of that with a cup of hot coffee.  It became a very important practice/habit.

      Then I slacked off.  Like you, however, I had the memory of how pleasant it was to have that discipline in my life some months earlier.  That memory was important motivation to return to that practice.

      • http://www.leadtoimpact.com/ Bernard Haynes

         Jim, I am going to start back this weekend. I realized I need it back.

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          I’ll be praying for you Bernard!

      • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

        I would say a hearty Amen to that!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you for reading and commenting Bernard, if you can get back on it, go for it! That routine sounds pretty good to help you slat any dragons throughout the day.

  • http://lisadelay.com/blog Lisa Colon DeLay

    Seriously true.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thanks for reading Lisa!

  • http://www.15minutewriter.com Sharon Gibson

    This is so true. I notice a huge difference when I take time to be with God and when I don’t. When I do, I go through my day in much more peace and less stress. I also learned a long time ago that I must eat something nutritious for my health so I don’t skimp on that part. I like the idea of planning everything the night before to have things go smoother. I think I’ll experiment with that idea. Thank you for the wisdom you shared here.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you Sharon and I would love to hear how it works out for you geting things ready the night before. Amen to your awesome points!

  • http://recreationalwordslinger.wordpress.com/ RecreationalWordSlinger

    I feel like this article was written just for me…this morning’s first hour was spent trying to wake myself up! I had originally set my alarm, but I did not wake up when it went off. I was “working from home” today, so I knew I could afford to sleep in a little later. Well, it took me forever to get up. I felt awful. I had a hard time during my workout…only running 1.5 miles instead of the original 3 I had planned. I just don’t feel very efficient or productive this morning.

    I will definitely use these tips for next week. Thanks.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you for reading and commenting! Thank you for all the awesome comments you have left today, they really encouraged me. The day can be rough when it starts rough, I’ve been there a number of times, I will pray for your progress next week!

  • http://www.jackiebledsoe.com/ jbledsoejr

    GREAT post!  Point #3 and this part really resonates ”
    The verses you read as a part of that first hour of the morning will be your shield.”  So true!  Thx for sharing.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thnk you for reading and adding value with your awesome comment!

  • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

    I usually get up, take a shower, and then spend some time reading in the morning. Next week though I am going to be starting a new routine. I have been doing my workout right after work everyday but now I am going to start doing it in the morning. I’ve been doing it in the evening because it is so cold in the morning but now the weather has started warming up. We will see how that goes. 

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      I truly believe working out in the morning will help give you so much energy throughout the day, keep us up to date with your progress.

      • http://brandonweldy.wordpress.com Brandon Weldy

        I finished my first morning workout. I’m still not feeling that energy you talked about! I’m very excited about this new routine and to see how it goes. 

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          That’s awesome Brandon, I truly am happy for you and pray for your success. I asked people on twitter this morning how their morning went and got a pretty good response. We all just have to keep it up so we can make it a habit!

  • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

    Good post, Kimanzi!
    One of my favorite posts Mike has ever written was “Slay Your Dragons Before Breakfast” http://michaelhyatt.com/slay-your-dragons-before-breakfast.html (It’s one of his most popular posts)

    I talked about this subject in a recent sermon (“7 Keys to a Powerful Prayer Life” http://joshuamhood.com/7-keys-to-a-powerful-prayer-life/) and got an amazing amount of feedback.

    It seems to be something almost everyone struggles with.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you for sharing those awesome posts Josh, the sermon sounds interesting, can I find it online anywhere?

      • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

        You can listen online or download it at: 
        http://joshuamhood.com/sermons/

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          I’m going to listen to it right now!

          • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

            Hope it helps!

          • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

            Prayer is so important, I’m really enjoying it!

  • http://levittmike.wordpress.com levittmike

    Great post Kimanzi!

    That first hour serves as our first step of the day.  When I have a “bad” day, I can typically trace it back to the start of that day, whether I overslept, or started the day with the wrong attitude.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      You’re are so right levittmike, thank you for reading and adding value!

  • http://www.scottwimberly.com/ Scott Wimberly

    Kimanzi you nailed it on this one!! I love it, love it!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you Scott, I really appreciate that!

  • http://www.dennisbrooke.com/ Dennis Brooke

    Kimanzi. I grew up in a house where my mother would chase the garbage truck down the street in the morning because she hadn’t set the trash out the night before. I vowed to not live my life that way.
    In addition to your great suggestions one thing that helps keep my household in a great position to be ready for a good start to the day is to prep stuff before the week starts. We put together all the stuff we need for lunches (packs of veggies, trail mix, cereal, etc.) on the weekend so that we just have to toss it together the night before. Extending that to meal prep and other tasks helps bring order to household chaos so that we can have a peaceful start in the morning.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Wow, that is an awesome suggestion and very organized, thanks for adding value to the post!

  • http://charlielyons.ca Charlie Lyons

    Yes, morning time is absolutely crucial to setting the tone for the rest of the day. My first hour of the day is typically invested in the life of my almost-three-year-old boy, Caleb. He and I have some pretty special times over breakfast and it is a time that I would have to be REALLY sick to miss on a consistent basis. My wife takes one morning (or both) on the weekend and even after missing that one morning, I miss that time with “The Boy.” Of course, in 7 weeks or less, when our second child arrives (a girl this time :)) who knows how this will change. :)

    Thanks for the post, Kimanzi. I appreciated your thoughts. Blessings!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you Charlie for reading and commenting and congrats on the new baby!

  • Anonymous

    I get up early, head to my couch (coffee and Bible in hand), and read until my first kid wakes up. The times with them on the couch have become the highlight of my day and we’re always bummed when getting ready for school gets in the way! :)

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Great routine and I’m a little jealous! Thanks for adding vaule with your awesome comment!

      • Anonymous

        Started it almost “on accident” in January 2010. Now I don’t think I’ll stop until my youngest goes to college….only 16 more years. :)

        • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

          Hang it there buddy :)

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       That sounds like a killer routine Keith. I hope when I have kids I’ll be doing that with them.

      • Anonymous

        I hope you do it too, Joe. You won’t regret it!

  • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

    Kimanzi, so good to see you on this blog!  Excellent post- as usual. 

    Having a daily devotional each morning is key for me, it really sets the tone for the rest of the day. 

    Thanks for these helpful tips!  God bless you.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      I’m always happy to “see” you TC and I know you’re on top of your first hour. You continue to inspire me!

      • http://tcavey.blogspot.com/ TCAvey

        Thanks for your flattering words. Great job today!

    • http://www.jmlalonde.com Joe Lalonde

       TC, do you have any specific devotionals that you would recommend? I’m just about to finish my current one and am looking for suggestions.

  • http://twitter.com/TheRileyGuy Riley

    Wow, I never really thought about it like that. I’m definitely going to try it.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      I pray it works out for you Riley, find that routine and make it a habit.

  • Miranda

    I’ve said this before on another post, but I find it’s relevance here again: When you realize your day has started off wrong, stop running, stand still, take a breath, forget the ‘past’ so you can press on forward to achieve your goals, and start at that moment to set things right i.e. going back to God and starting it right. I am one who finds it hard to break out of time-bound routine, and so when a day begins like this – you guessed it – I find myself rushing to fit into that routine, and sometimes of course, skip the ‘unimportant’ things, like my morning devotion. But something happened one day, the Lord woke me up early, and I started to sing praises and worship, then after, read my Bible. That day turned out to be one of the most successful days I’ve ever had. It was like I had won the battles for the day before it began. That taught me a great lesson. The next time a ‘bad’ day came along, I chose to skip something else to have my devotion so the day would begin right. You could decide to skip preparing your lunch, to pay for one at a restaurant; you could skip your work-out, or something else ‘important’. I have learned that when I forfeit one of my ‘important’ things to have my quiet time, it is always worth it. Taming myself to forfeit my important things, has also tamed me to intentional make good use of my time, so I don’t have to lose any ‘important’ things for each day.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Amen to that Miranda, very excellent points. We do need to learn how to stand still when things aren’t going the “way” we want them to and pray for peace! I’m happy the Lord showed this to you and that you showed it to us!

  • http://mommainprogress.blogspot.com/ Momma_in_Progress

    I don’t use an alarm. I typically wake up between 4 and 5. First hour: make coffee, stretching, prayer, Bible reading, review writings in progress, check e-mail, online news. This assumes of course that all of my children are still sound asleep. At least one is known to be an early bird like her mother.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Isn’t that the truth, congrats on no alarm. That’s one of my goals for this year!

  • http://beckfarfromhome.blogspot.com/ Beck Gambill

    Just in case we weren’t paying attention when our mom’s were teaching us these habits in the first place! Your tips seem so obvious but I have a feeling we’ve all either had to relearn these skills as adults or are still working on them. (I’m working on sufficient sleep.) I say often that if I don’t begin my day in the Word, submitting  to Jesus, I might as well go back to bed. This was such a great reminder and I appreciate your honest, direct approach.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Thank you Becky and I pray you stay on top of getting more sleep! Thanks for adding value with the awesome points you’re making, we should know these things but sometimes we’re too smart for our own good!

  • http://www.facebook.com/msurran Michael Surran

    I couldn’t agree more! There’s something to be said about the old saying, “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Great quote Michael, thanks for sharing!

  • Anonymous

    This is such a great topic because everyone fights this battle. Either we don’t have aan intentional routine or we struggle with making it happen. I’m a huge fan of setting yourself up for success the night before. It makes a huge difference for me. I fully agree with Miranda as my time with the Lord is a top priority in getting my day off right. With any worthwhile routine, it has to be adaptable and based on priorities. After all its a routine, not a ritual (hopefully). I would also like to add, that there is no sure fire way to WIN in the first hour (we can give it our best); but what I’m saying is that we too have to be mentally agile, optimistic and focus on the things we can control throughout the day. Yes, as others have mentioned, taking a time out can be necessary and know that we can always influence how we are perceiving the events of the day and find something good to hold to.

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Very great points Justin. Thank you for sharing and reading!

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    This is very true when it comes to the first hour of the day. You really do need to set it up well. I believe I haven’t done the best job of that. I really think tomorrow is going to be different!

    • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

      Amen Daren! I’ll ask you about it on twitter, we can encourage each other!

      • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

        That’s a great idea. Looking forward to it!