Gini Dietrich

How Successful People Spend the First Hour of their Day

By: Gini Dietrich | August 29, 2012 | 

Mitch Joel does a nice roundup of articles on his blog every weekend.

Unlike Gin and Topics, though, his are serious and very informative.

He, Alistair Croll, and Hugh McGuire each recommend two links for one another and they all end up in a blog post.

A very cool way to do a roundup and something I look forward to seeing every Sunday.

This past weekend, Mitch recommended an article to Hugh that I keep thinking about after reading it. In fact, Joe Hackman and I recorded a podcast about the topic yesterday because I can’t stop thinking about it.

The First Hour of the Day

It’s a Fast Company article called, “What Successful People Do With the First Hour of the Day,” and the author revealed how David Karp  (Tumblr founder), Tony Robbins, and other business leaders start their days.

Guess how most do not start their days?

With email.

Some do, however, spend their first hour meditating, exercising, and/or visualizing their days.

Others work on the biggest project of the day so it’s behind them and the little stuff can get accomplished in between meetings and calls.

And yet others, such as Craig Newmark (the founder of Craigslist), spend their first hour on customer service – putting out fires, managing complaints, and responding to customers on both Craigslist and the boards.

My First Hour

I’m writing this blog post during my first hour of the day. I woke up this morning, at 4:45, with a 106 pound dog staring me in the face. After I whispered, “Just half an hour more,” he settled his nose into my neck and we slept until 5:23.

After feeding and walking him, I turned on my laptop and began to write this blog post.

It won’t take me the full hour to finish it so I’ll also schedule the tweets about it for the rest of the day, I’ll read and schedule the guest post, I’ll schedule those tweets, and I’ll spend about 30 minutes reading, and commenting, on other’s blogs.

By then it’ll be 7 a.m. and then I’ll get into my email. After that, I’ll look at Facebook and Twitter. And then my day will truly begin.

When we had an office, the first hour was always spent writing the day’s blog post and then I’d ride my bike. But this year, my New Year’s resolution was FOCUS and that included taking a break after I’d been sitting at my desk for six or seven hours. So now I ride at noon.

Your First Hour

But, Gini, I’ll hear some of you say, I don’t own a company or I don’t have that kind of flexibility or I can’t get up that early or I’m not a morning person or about a zillion other excuses.

When I worked at Rhea & Kaiser. The receptionist sat at the front desk and “clocked” you in each morning. We were to be there by 8:30, but for some reason (even though I lived less than 10 minutes away), I could not, for the life of me, get there before 8:45.

I used to go round and round with Steve Rhea because I was always there until 8 p.m. or later and I did a ton of travel with clients that didn’t get counted in that extra 15 minutes I felt like I had to use for sleeping instead of getting to work on time. “But I’m not a morning person,” I’d whine to him.

Perhaps he created the 5 a.m. monster, but 10 years later, my brain rarely functions past 6 p.m., but I get a ton accomplished before noon.

My point is, you can be a morning person. You can create your own flexibility. You can tackle your biggest project of the day, from home. You can choose not to get into your email until later.

It doesn’t matter if you own the joint or not. It what allows you to be productive and any boss will be happy with your system if you’re productive.

So…how do you spend your first hour each day?

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!