How often do you start your working day in a rush, then feel rushed clear through to the end, as though you've never really had time to think? 


I'd like to recommend something that can change that for you. 


For the past two weeks, I've done it consistently, and it's made a considerable difference in my working life. 


Because I speak, write, teach and preach on the idea of becoming an expert, I'm always keen to find ways to 'live in the universe of ideas.' To increase my own ideas-exposure, I simply promised myself that I would begin each day by reading an article, or a chapter of an interesting book, and that I would not begin work until I had done so.


My two publications of choice for this month are The Harvard Business Review, which pertains to my work as a business speaker, and the book 'Anti-Fragile,' by Nassim Nicholas Tasseb, which just struck me as interesting. 


Last week, I started my day in a rush to produce and upload the latest episode of my daily video. I nearly skipped the ritual. But I caught myself: 'How long could it possibly take?' 


So I forced myself to slow down, fulfil my three minutes or so of reading, and only then did I begin.


The difference it made to my own state-of-mind was immediately noticeable. I felt clearer, calmer and less harried. The brain goes into different patterns of function when it slows down to deep-read something interesting. And the specific idea that I read then stayed with me through the day, bouncing off other concepts in my working world, creating unexpected links. 


This simple act of slowing down and reading changed my mood and my mindset. It even helped me to feel more strategic, rather than reactive; more on-top-and-able-to-see, and less behind-and-trying-to-catch-up. 


The list of effective leaders who recommend taking time out each day to think, to read and to plan is bountiful. But do we ever actually listen to them? Do we do it? To become real, it must become ritualised. Otherwise it simply never happens. 


So now that's what I do when I start my day. I slow down, process an interesting article, and only then begin to think about what I need to do for the day. I would love you to experience the calming difference this makes. And as ever, I would love you to become, through a daily accumulation of ideas and focused work, the greatest in your game.



Douglas Kruger is a leading professional speaker and the author of several business books with Penguin. He has been inducted into the 'Speakers Hall of Fame.' See him live, or book him as the motivational speaker at your next event, at