14 things normal people do before breakfast
Research by the World Economic Forum showing what "successful" people do in the morning puts the rest of us to shame. Here's how close ordinary people get...
Did you get time to work on your personal passion project this morning? Did you exercise and meditate, then read stories to your children? Did you do all that before breakfast? No?
That's because you're a failure, according to bizarre research by the World Economic Forum. The new findings, backed up by examples of several wealthy early risers such as Disney CEO Bob Iger and Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, claims successful people "must set aside their first hours of the day to invest in their top-priority activities before other people's priorities come rushing in."
It's all very well, but how achievable is it, really? Here's how close normal people get:
1) Wake up early
Temporarily experience a unique mixture of both astonishment and regret you've made it to another day. Then roll over to glare at your ringing alarm with such contempt that you consider the implications of hurling it at the wall. Decide on reflection that, yes, you should hurl it at the wall, but cannot be bothered. Struggle to turn it off, just like yesterday. Finally end up hitting 'snooze' nine times until you eventually get out of bed a full 45 minutes after you intended. You are now late for work.
2) Drink water instead of coffee...
By quite literally falling asleep in the shower, mouth agape, only realising what you've done when either the hot water runs out, you start to drown, or both.
Iron your clothes, get dressed and make it to the kitchen within three minutes, for that is all the time you have left yourself after the snooze-sleep-repeat debacle. Immediately negate that fitness work by eating a breakfast consisting of Maryland cookies, a cancerous bacon sandwich and glass of chocolate milk.
4) Work on a top-priority business project
Remember that you have a meeting about something very important at 10am and haven't even taken the agenda notes out of your bag yet. Decide you don't have time, and will just zone out in the meeting instead, hoping nobody notices.
5) Work on a personal passion project
Refuse to leave the house until you have completed the next level of Candy Crush Saga.
6) Invest in family time
Furiously make sandwiches for your children, putting in to practice none of the nutritional lessons you always drum into them, and instead focusing on filling their lunchboxes with just enough calories to be sure they'll survive the day.
7) Connect with your spouse
Having been unable to form a coherent sentence to say to your spouse all morning, decide it's best if you just WhatsApp them at about 11am with an apology. You have done this for the last 642 workday mornings.
8) Make your bed
...into a working fort. Crawl in and hide from the day ahead. Realise then that the fort cannot protect you from the harsh realities of adult life. Cry.
9) Network over coffee
Drink a mug of bitter, boiling hot liquid faster than your mouth can tolerate, because the momentary buzz it gives is worth burning the top eight layers of skin on your tongue for.
10) Meditate to clear your mind
Until the caffeine sets in, close your eyes and ponder why you never got a job nearer home, why you stayed up late last night, how you haven't done anything useful with your degree and why you've not achieved half the things you meant to. Think about returning to the fort.
11) Write down a list of things you're grateful for
12) Plan and strategise the day ahead
Decide, straight after breakfast, what you will have for lunch. Concoct an elaborate plan for dinner, too, safe in the knowledge you have none of those ingredients and don't have time to get them either. Remember to put Traffic Cops on Sky+.
13) Check your email
Audibly tut at every business email sent before 9am, even the reasonable or apologetic ones, but very seriously consider taking a hit out on anyone who opens with one of the following:
• "Wakey wakey!!"
• "Happy hump day! [if used on a Wednesday, otherwise meaning becomes ambiguous]"
• "Howdy, Ian–"
14) Read the news
Open your iPad, laptop, phone or newspaper on the train with every intention of catching a sharp comment piece or skimming the business pages, but in reality reach for nonsense comfort blankets like the Sidebar of Shame, football transfer pages or, er, this.