Um, about that World Economic Forum tweet and infographic

Since the world elite are gathering in Davos right now, some of the World Economic Forum tweets are getting resent around. Last year, they created an infographic based on a Business Insider piece about my work that looked at 14 things successful people do before breakfast.

This infographic has now taken on a life of its own. It even inspired a wee bit of a sneering Schumpeter column in the Economist (I do not know whether to be proud or sad, really). To be clear, I have never said that people should do ALL 14 OF THESE THINGS before breakfast. My book offers suggestions for morning routines that can help busy people use a time of day that is great for getting stuff done. Various people did perhaps 1-3 of these 14 things. I actually never talk about making the bed, so I do not know where that one came from. No one did all 14, that I am aware of. If so, he/she would likely not have time to talk with me! Doing all 14 would take, oh, maybe all day.

Anyway, if you are here because you want to mock a very mockable infographic, great. But I hope you will stick around and see some of my work on how we use our time now and in the past, and how we can all use it better. I am really a very reasonable person. Thanks for reading!

14 thoughts on “Um, about that World Economic Forum tweet and infographic

  1. Laura – don’t take it personally…they obviously never read the book. I actually found the infographic pretty darn funny. I liked the comment ” I’m really going to have to stuff myself before going to bed…”

  2. He’s an idiot. Anyone with half a brain knows that you don’t have to do all of these. He also probably doesn’t have four kids and a wife with a full time job. From where is his expertise derived?!

  3. Hi Laura. I have read your books and your blog and thoroughly enjoy both – it must be really annoying when someone takes your valid and researched work to use it as a starting point to go off on some rant-like tangent like the guy in the economist did (distorting your msg while he’s at it). The infographic….blahh…clearly the work of someone with quite an obvious and not so sharp sense of humour…not worth commenting on.
    Regardless, try to think of it as there being no such thing as bad publicity. If it drives people to your site they’ll see upon reading even a few lines of any post that its worth sticking around to read more… And if they sneer in agreement with the infographic/economist you probably dont want them as readers anyway.
    Keep the posts coming!

  4. Is there another emotion besides sad or proud? How about perplexed? The infographic comes across as sloppy to me. Why take someone’s work and distort it just to get laughs? I realize that happens constantly, but my reaction is “that tweeter whom I’ve never heard of will not capture my interest.” In other news, you should start a conversation about #snowdaychildcare. I found myself without 3 hours of childcare today, and I’m embracing a slow morning so that once childcare starts at 11, I’ll crank hard until 6 with lunch at my desk. There is something nice about savoring three slow hours with a little reading, kid time, and exercise that turns the entire situation into something positive. Fortunately, had nothing on my calendar at work this morning that is being wrecked by the snow day.

  5. I’d be sort of proud—you know you’ve made it when people are snarking on you, right? It certainly took time & energy for someone to create that (even though its nonsensical and anyone who thinks that you meant to do all 14 things lacks basic reading comprehension & common sense!)

  6. I think there’s a popular trend of “morning routine” recently, after you wrote your book. In fact some of them like Claire Diaz Ortiz, quote you directly. (I have to admit I was kind of annoyed when reading her books because in two of them she summarizes your points about weekend planning without adding anything substantive, but the rest of her books were decent so…)

    Anyway, I’ve seen several people talk about elaborate morning routines lately so I read that tweet as a dig on the idea, rather than one pointed at YOU specifically. Because you wouldn’t waste time on bed making or email 🙂 I think the email thing comes from Gretchen Rubin. And the bedmaking thing has been mentioned a bunch of times by lots of people over the years, and I personally find it super unhelpful. 😉

    +1 to Haters Gonna Hate 🙂 but Yay? for the Economist!

    BTW, on days when I can get it together, my “morning routine” is 2.5 hours before the kids get up, though I never would have made that happen with kids who were constantly waking up in the middle of the night. I also go to bed at 8:45 on those days. So it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility…

  7. For what it is worth, my husband (an avid Economist reader) showed me that Schumpeter column by saying it mentioned you in a positive light! They do tend to have a snarky edge about just about everything, and he didn’t think they were particularly snarky about your points.
    Somewhat related: I’d really love to understand why the suggestion that we can get better at how we use our time makes some people downright angry and defensive. I get it sometimes, too, in my far less trafficked corner of the internet. My current theory is that if they admit they maybe didn’t have to work such ridiculous hours all along, they have to reckon with how much of their life they’ve wasted. It would be fascinating if someone found a way to actually research that question.

    1. @Cloud – I think it’s the same reason that people who’ve blamed weight woes on a slow metabolism don’t like to learn that their metabolism is perfectly normal. Accepting agency over a situation is tough. In the work realm, we justify sacrifices to ourselves by believing they were necessary.

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