The other day I was having a conversation with a friend and we talked about reading in the mornings. He shared with me that while he would love to do that, there’s that advice that suggests we eat the biggest frog in the morning. For those not familiar with that expression, it means to complete the toughest task of the day, as early as possible.
That made me think about the task of reading (one that future me would appreciate me doing on a daily basis).
Is Reading a Frog?
Early in the day, reading is a pretty light task. If you set out to read 10-15 pages each morning, it easily seems like the kind of thing you can do later. After all, it’s only 10-15 pages.
But as the hours pass, our day gets more challenging with meetings and emails. As a result, reading 10-15 pages becomes an increasingly difficult task. Essentially, it grows into a bigger frog the later in the day it gets. By the end of the day, personally, I am too tired by the time I sit in bed to read something non-fiction. One page in and my eyes are closed – so much for 10-15 pages!
With that in mind, reading seems to me like the biggest (future) frog I can eat in the morning. And it’s really small in the morning, only 10-15 pages, and I haven’t even received any emails yet at 6 or 7am. So it’s simply a lot easier in the morning for me to read those pages.
Benefits of Reading Earlier in the Day
When I read in the morning, I add in new content into my brain. That does a few things for me.
- One, that new content might include a great new idea that I can apply that day.
- Two, the new content mixes with old ideas and forms new and better ones.
- Three, the new content might serve as a few units of inspiration for the day.
Whatever the case, most of the time, those 10-15 pages have a way of serving me that same day. And when they don’t, they mix with future readings to give me interesting breakthroughs.
Finally, when I read 10-15 pages in the morning, I feel in control of my growth and development first thing that day. I feel like I have made an investment that will only compound throughout and each subsequent day. But it only works if I deposit some reading each and every day.
How can you get started? Here are a few ideas…
- Sign up to an interesting newsletter or follow a couple of writers/bloggers writing about topics that align with your current interests and needs.
- Feel free to read pages from any book you want on any given day. You don’t have to stick with the same book every day. Giving myself permission to do this has been game-changing!
- Sign up for a paid periodical like Barrons or The Economist (or whatever you are interested in) and download their app. Their apps have built in daily newsletters (also sent to your email) that provide you with a great start to your reading session. When you find an article summary you like, dig into the entire article.
- Listen to audiobooks while walking and/or running in the morning. This is my favorite 2-for-1 deal in my morning routine! I absolutely love this because listening to books while walking or running gets my creative juices flowing. I often stop to type up ideas in my notes app. Sometimes I even go as far as sitting on a nearby bench and draft up an entire article.