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10 Books That’ll Make Your Morning

The way you begin your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day. So, it's time to stop pressing snooze, and start springing into positive action.
by Fionnuala Kavanagh | May 17 2018

Morning habits affect your mood, productivity and even creative potential. You can’t always control how smoothly your day will run, but you can deal with obstacles better and bring more focus and calm by beginning with a routine that puts you in the right frame of mind. If you want to sleep deeper, learn to meditate, or train your willpower, here are ten top reads to help make the most of your morning.

1. My Morning Routine

Sixty-four leading business people and creative minds let you in with the morning light, and show you how they get their day off to a successful start. Writer Benjamin Spall and product designer Michael Xander bring together interviews, statistics, and tips on how to create a morning routine that works for you. From poached eggs, to no alarms, to cuddles with kids, to playing jazz piano, you’ll see how differently people like to start their day. Marie Kondo begins with a tidying ritual, and Arianna Huffington makes a point of not checking her phone first thing. Knowing more about the private lives of the rich and famous is always entertaining, but why is it useful? Take inspiration from some of the most successful people around on how they make their day work well from the moment they wake up. My Morning Routine is the Financial Times’ Business Book of the Month and a brand new addition to the Blinkist library.

2. Thrive

Co-founder of the Huffington Post, Arianna Huffington learned the hard way that success shouldn’t be measured solely by money and power. After pushing her stress levels to the limit and jeopardizing her health striving to launch her business, Huffington realized that she needed to take a step back and focus on her well-being. Thrive is full of personal insights and actionable advice on how to flourish through wisdom, foster an attitude of giving, and implement health-conscious daily routines.

3. Deep Work

Buzzing notifications, social media feeds, emails flying in — there are lots of potential distractions in the age of technology. We default to multi-tasking and it’s destroying our productivity. Cal Newport offers an antidote to procrastination by showing us how to bring more discipline to our work routine. Start your day on the right foot by getting into a flow of ‘deep work’ and kick into action from the moment you rise.

4. 10% Happier

Learn how to manage your emotions and improve your focus through meditation. For those moments when you get lost in your thoughts and feel overwhelmed, you can tap into some well-known meditation techniques and calm yourself down. Dan Harris explains how taming your ego though mindfulness allows you to start being kinder to yourself and others. If you’re interested in the scientific research behind the benefits of meditation, or you simply want to learn how to train a peaceful mind, then this one’s for you!

5. Unplug

Unplug is a novice’s guide to meditation, and one that doesn’t require you to lead an alternative lifestyle or be particularly spiritual. Guiding you through six steps of a simple 10-minute meditation, the book shows how anyone can try these visualization and breathing techniques. Learn to acknowledge your thoughts without engaging with them, and start to feel more focused and less stressed from the moment you wake until you fall asleep. If you’re curious about the benefits of meditation but unsure where to begin, then read Unplug.

6. The Power of Habit

The Power of Habit explores the psychology behind habitual behavior and shows us how to drop bad habits and stick to good ones. From smoking to biting your nails to eating fruit for breakfast, habits are ingrained in our daily lives. In fact, 40% of our actions are determined by habit rather than conscious choice which influences our spending patterns, health, and mental well-being. By reading this bestseller you’ll learn that through training your willpower you can take control of habitual behavior and live life with greater intention.

7. The Sleep Solution

Neurologist and qualified sleep specialist W. Chris Winter takes us through the importance of regular sleep patterns for our general well-being. By explaining insomnia and circadian rhythms, and suggesting the best napping techniques, Winter consolidates his expert knowledge by linking sleep quality to performance outcomes. If you can’t switch off, struggle to sleep, or don’t think that sleep is that important, then try reading The Sleep Solution to see how sleep makes you stronger.

8. Primary Greatness

Primary Greatness challenges the superficial notion that success should be measured by riches, and instead championing inner fulfillment. Bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and one of Time magazine’s ‘25 Most Influential Americans’, Steven R. Covey gives us the tools to find our purpose and personal satisfaction. A methodological guide structured around ‘12 levers of success’, you’ll learn how to prioritize what’s most important, develop character, and cultivate good habits. Pick up this bestselling book to get in the habit of starting every day feeling positive.

9. Make Your Bed

Ten top lessons from former U.S. Navy SEAL Admiral William H. McRaven on how to make small but very effective changes to your life. It’s the simple things that make a big difference, that’s why making your bed every morning when you first get up should be a key part of your daily routine. Starting off by completing a task like bed-making puts you in a productive mindset, which will stay with you for the rest of the day. This top read from someone who’s overcome many challenges offers a unique perspective on how to bring discipline, create value, and make the most of life.

10. Eat, Move, Sleep

Author Tom Rath shares his insight on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Battling the effects of a long-term serious illness with a nutritious diet, an active lifestyle, and efficient sleep, Rath leads by example when it comes to living well. Learn how to limit long stretches of inactivity, and why you need to pay attention to every bite you eat. Starting your day well begins the night before — Rath can’t stress enough how vital sleep is for productivity and well-being. If you’re interested in the science behind health and you want practical lifestyle tips, choose Eat, Move, Sleep.

Even if the sun isn’t shining when you wake up, you can start your day in a good mood with these ten top books that’ll make your morning. Tweak your routine by adding a smoothie, a moment of mindfulness, or a few more hours of sleep, and see the positive impact it has on the rest of your day.

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