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Publisher's Summary

Three powerful mini audios about high productivity, now together in one audiobook

Laura Vanderkam has combined her three popular mini auidobooks into one comprehensive guide, with a new introduction. It will help listeners build habits that lead to happier, more productive lives, despite the pressures of their busy schedules. Through interviews and anecdotes, she reveals...What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast - to jump-start the day productively. What the Most Successful People Do On the Weekend - to recharge and prepare for a great week. What the Most Successful People Do at Work - to accomplish more in less time.

©2013 Laura Vanderkam (P)2013 Gildan Media LLC

What listeners say about What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Annoying, but worth the listen

I was ready to write a snarky review of "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Mornings - and Your Life" (2013) - until I listened to the third book. I liked that so much, I went back to the beginning and listened again, ignoring what annoyed me.

This audible collection of three short books by Laura Vanderkam on time management. The first is the Breakfast book (Audible Ch 2); the second, "What the Most Successful People Do on the Weekend: A Short Guide to Making the Most of Your Days Off" (Audible Ch 6) and the third, "What the Most Successful People Do at Work: A Short Guide to Making Over Your Career" (Audible Ch 11).

The Breakfast book started out with an idea that I found immediately helpful: exercise in the morning, because later in the day, you may not have the willpower and other things might come up and take your time. That's not a new idea, but Vanderkam presented the reasons in a way that resonated with me. Finally. That's why I kept listening. (And let's face it, I'm sure not getting to the gym after a long drive home.) I also liked her idea for breaking bad habits: find friends that will honestly watch you, and if you fail, your penalty is donating to an organization you don't believe in. An example: donate to Karl Rove's PAC if you are a card carrying member of the ACLU.

The Work book had some very helpful ideas for structuring work to be more productive, and they were beyond the adages like turn off the e-mail and do the heavy work when you are most productive. Vanderkam talks about how to identify when your clients are going to need you; how to delegate work and encourage team members to develop their management abilities; and how to take breaks that enhance your creativity and ability to do your job more effectively.

I didn't like how Vanderkam kept mentioning 168 hours, how time can never be recovered, etc. After a while, I started to feel 'I Must Be Doing Something Meaningful All the Time'. That's pressure no one needs.

And now, for the reason I was going to snark: it's nice that Vanderkam lives on the east coast with fabulous daily train service; works from home; is married; has friends over for dinner Sunday nights; ran through her pregnancies; and just finished a marathon without ever running more than 35 miles in a week because she did other exercises. And about her four hour runs on Saturdays - that's nice, but someone has to pick up the dry cleaning, grocery shop, take the kids to games, clean the house . . . And I'm a single mom! I could relate to Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead (2013)) and even the fictional heroine in Allison Pearson's 2003 book "I Don't Know How She Does It: The Life of Kate Reddy, Working Mother" but I couldn't relate to Vanderkam personally. I am glad I took the time to listen to what she said - literally, since she's the narrator.

[If this review helped, please press YES. Thanks!]

211 people found this helpful

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Listening is time well spent

Any additional comments?

I read several reviews that complained that this book was irritating to listen to. I decided to try it anyway. At first the narrator/author's clipped precise reading style bothered me. However, that feeling was quickly erased and replaced by all the interesting and easily applicable material presented. The book was overwhelmingly positive and offers a no fooling around approach to time management and ways to improve what you can accomplish. The author's take on prioritizing, goal setting, choosing what is important and how to focus your energies was different than what I've read before. Finally someone not suggesting that to have more free time you need to cutback, pare down, and do less. I find that the simple suggestions and new perspective have helped me reorganize and recharge my day. Definitely time well spent.

50 people found this helpful

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Excruciating Slow and Halting Narration

I'm only on the third chapter but not sure I'll make it through this book due to the narration. It's so awful, I stopped listening to write this review to save others from the same agony. When will authors learn it's worth whatever it costs to hire a professional narrator to read their books?! Whatever dollars they save in doing it themselves, they must surely loose in customers returning their books to Audible or never making it all the way through their book, thus never sharing the book with friends.
The narration is extremely slow with halting pauses where there should be none. It's so distracting I can hardly focus on the content. I've sped the reading up 2x the normal speed (something I've never done with any other book I've purchased on Audible. It helped with the draaaaggggging slowness but nothing can fix the gaping pauses and general tone of the narration. Authors, PLEASE hire a professional and increase the cost of your book by .50 cents or whatever is needed to cover the cost!

26 people found this helpful

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Great time management tips and reminders!

Audio Book of the Month!🎧👍 Been listening to alot of "GRIND IT OUT NIGHT AND DAY" 😵books so this was a nice change of pace. Geared more towards optimizing your TIME and planning for the FUN and FULLFILLING things you and your family want to be doing in life. ... A Few Favorite Takeaways: - "What are you saving your energy for?" - Good reminders to plan every weekend in advance around a FUN pillar activities. I've always been good at planning work, todo's, and chores but its easy to loose sight of planning the fun. - Make weekends geared more towards and around the things you want to be doing. - Consolidate chores and errands to the work week. - Plan something fun Sunday evenings to extend and get the most out of your weekend. - Make a top 100 list of things you want to do. - Early mornings are the time when you have most control over your schedules. - "If you wait until the end of the day to do meaningful things like exercise, pray, read, ponder how to advance your career or grow your organization, or truly give your family your best, it probably won’t happen, If it has to happen, then it has to happen first". - "Before the rest of the world is eating breakfast, the most successful people have already scored daily victories that are advancing them toward the lives they want." ... There's 3 short books; Mornings, Weekends, and Work, as well as more. So if your not a morning person, still a good listen. Not anything ground breaking but a lot of great time management tips and reminders to get the most out of your work week, weekend, and your overall valuable time. It's not long either so makes for an easy listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Useful ideas, just don't take it too seriously

The author has a lot of really good ideas and really makes the point that time is a valuable resource. She tends to overdo it sometimes about the idea that every minute of your time has to be precisely planned. I don't believe that, and I don't believe that approach is always useful.

The narrator read too slowly for me, so I had to speed it up to double time to stay awake. The book is good, the narrator is just too slow.

Overall, you will get some really great ideas about time management from this book as long as you don't let the concept of overly planned time drive you insane.

14 people found this helpful

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Complete wast of time and money

This is an uninspired regurgitation of the advice given by serious authors in the business motivation genre. Absolutely no new information. If this is your first business motivation book then consider it as a preview of the rest of them. Otherwise, move on. The pace at which it is read is painfully slow, presumable to make it appear longer than it actually is. Sorry I wasted a credit on this title.

6 people found this helpful

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  • AK
  • 12-11-18

Great audio book but swallow your saliva please

Great book. Pleasant narrator. But only one big pet peeve. Too much saliva in her mouth while narrating. Super gross to hear the smacking noise of the saliva every other sentence.

1 person found this helpful

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An EYE opener

The painfully obvious things we can do spoken directly to us in a useful, encouraging way. Well done Laura!

1 person found this helpful

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Not very insightful, I was hoping for so much more

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

If you don't get up in the morning to workout at the gym and are jumping out of bed to rush to work this could be a decent book for you.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Something to do with business, finance, or a bio.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Laura Vanderkam?

Not sure I don't know the narrator scene.

Any additional comments?

I was hoping for discussions with more successful CEO's about their mornings. I didn't feel like there was enough analysis of the morning activities of a CEO or many statistics to prove any of the analysis. I think this is an interesting topic but for me it fell way short of my expectations.

10 people found this helpful

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Compensatory Strategies

The narrative was rich with case studies that demonstrated how to effectively and efficiently utilize those 168 hours. There are tools and resources that allow me the freedom to do what I CHOOSE!