Starting Your Day Right? Please Stop!

By Robert Goldman

September 10, 2020 5 min read

What's the major advantage of committing to a rigorous productivity regime to be performed every morning before 8 a.m.?

It isn't that it will make you more successful or give you a significant advantage over your slugabed competitors.

No, the real advantage of an early-morning productivity regime is that when you sleep through your alarm, which you will, and start your exercises, which you won't, you don't have to wait until 5 p.m. to know you've screwed up your day.

You'll know by 8 a.m.

Now, that's efficiency!

Benjamin Hardy, Ph.D., would probably not agree. His article on Inc. magazine's website, "8 Things You Should Do Every Day Before 8 A.M. to Be More Productive," is all about giving yourself a jump on the day, so, presumably, you don't get jumped on as the day progresses.

Like everyone who writes about the morning hours, Hardy starts his screed with a quote from Benjamin Franklin. It is Franklin who opined, "Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise." The fact that the Founding Father came to this conclusion at 3 a.m. after a wild night of karaoke at the Whigs & Wags Tavern doesn't tarnish the truth of the expression. (Kite-flyer Franklin is also credited with discovering electricity. Too bad it never caught on.)

Ready for an early-morning rumble? The countdown starts now.

No. 1: Clock 7-Plus Hours of Sleep.

Apparently, this is not as easy as it sounds.

"At least 40 million Americans suffer from over 70 different sleep disorders," according to the National Sleep Foundation (an organization that should be high on your list of potential employers. It puts a whole new spin on sleeping your way to the top.)

In addition to the 40 million who can't sleep at night, 40% of all adults yearn to sleep in the daytime. As we've come to expect in the War on Naps, the author suggests that "daytime sleepiness" is wrong.


One of your greatest strengths is your ability to identify an oncoming crisis and nap right through it. If napping isn't at the top of your list of skills on your resume, it certainly should be.

No. 2: "Don't Check Your Email or Social Media."

According to Hardy, "Eighty percent of people between the ages of 18 and 44 check their smartphones within 15 minutes of waking up." I recommend not only checking your email but also actually responding 15 minutes before you wake up. Trust me. You will make a lot fewer blunders sound asleep than when you're wide awake.

No. 3: Devote 15 Minutes to Prayer and Meditation.

You are advised to "close your eyes and express gratitude for this day." The gratitude part is fine, but be careful about closing your eyes. Next thing you know, you'll be praying no one notices you didn't start to work until 3 p.m.

No. 4: Journaling.

"Write down your top goals — both long-term and for this particular day." Your time allotment here is five to 15 minutes. Since your top goal is to have no top goals, you should be able to get 'er done in five to 15 seconds.

No. 5: 20-45 Minutes of Exercise.

"Getting your body going floods your system with dopamine, increases your confidence, and makes you work more productively." Maybe. Exercise can also cause strains, pains and injuries, as anyone who has dropped a kettlebell on their big toe will tell you. That's why I recommend doing your exercises while you're still in bed. Slip that Peloton bike under the blankets, and peddle away. Just remember to turn right at the first pillow.

No. 6: "Listen To Inspirational or Instructive Content While You Exercise."

Reading this column should fill the bill on both counts, and since you have 20 to 45 minutes to do it, you should be able to read it 10 or 12 times. It still won't make any sense, but it will kill the time, and it's a lot better than listening to the termites hold a hootenanny in your pantry.

No. 7: "Take a Cold Shower."

"Tony Robbins starts every morning by jumping into a 57-degree Fahrenheit swimming pool." You don't have a swimming pool, true, but you could turn your closet into a Tiki bar. Jump right in. The margaritas are fine.

No. 8: Eat 30 Grams of Protein.

You can accomplish this by eating 2 ounces of New York strip steak, 5 eggs or 3 1/2 quarts of Chubby Hubby ice cream.

Or you could just go back to bed. The choice, my little sleepyhead, is yours.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at

Photo credit: Security at Pixabay

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