Close up image man hands with cup of coffee late breakfastWe’ve been hearing for years that breakfast is essential for success at work. But here’s something you might not know: many of the world’s most successful people get most of their best work done before they even pour that bowl of cereal. Why?

For many people, mornings are simply a great time for concentration. The kids have yet to awaken and your mind has yet to fill with the anxieties and stresses of everyday life. With a cup of coffee in hand, you’re far more likely to feel motivated and ready to get things done than you will midday. This is true even if you’ve just risen an hour earlier to make the time.

Get the Most Out of Your Pre-Breakfast Time

Start by picturing your perfect morning and setting a very concrete goal. If you’re looking to grow your career, make a goal of finishing one module in that online course every day. If you’re looking instead to keep your mind creatively stimulated, bring out the paints or read a book for a set amount of time. Refuse to feel guilty for not getting something “more concrete” done.

Then start slowly building the habit, whether that means going to bed first 15 minutes and then 30 minutes earlier. Or, simply choosing one goal to implement at a time. Try tracking how you’re spending your time so you can make sure you’re really sticking to it. Then, review your progress weekly to see if there any tweaks to be made.

Whether it’s professional or personal growth you seek, the morning hours are a great time to get things done that otherwise wouldn’t fit into your everyday life. We highly recommend giving this article from Fast Company, entitled What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast for more great tips.