The order of payments

As I sit here before seven in the morning on a June Tuesday, eating my peanut butter toast and drinking my coffee, I am struck that such a little thing as getting up early and enjoying a relaxing morning before the grind of the workday can make such a difference in my quality of life. I’m not up early by choice. To be quite honest, I had a strange dream and had been drifting between the lands of sleep and awake for over an hour before I decided to bite the bullet, get a coffee and get my day going.

I’m glad that I did.

It is a little thing to take time for yourself in the morning. I was struck by a thought I came across on a podcast to which I am subscribed called “The School of Greatness” (hyperbolic name aside, it is often worth a listen) concerning the mind of a millionaire and the need to pay yourself first. This means get YOUR stuff done FIRST. The thought was within a discussion of entrepreneurship, and deciding whether to take the leap in a new life or career direction, but the application spreads beyond that limited scope.

This morning, I took time for myself. I made breakfast, have my coffee, and have plenty of time to write this posting before having to get ready for work, and writing the posting is important to me. Because it’s important to me, I did it first.

How often do we get home after a grinding day at our jobs and have no energy for anything but to pull together some nominal food and stagger over to the couch for some well-deserved rest before the grind starts tomorrow? By the time the weekend comes, we are so far behind on our lists of priorities that we catch up on the most basic and pressing and leave the others for another day.

My morning was fortunate. I had set the alarm for seven with a small plan for the day to possibly get in a morning run before a shower and work, and hoping to have energy to write this posting after work tonight. I was lucky enough to be woken up by a strangely positive, but nevertheless startling dream, giving myself more time than I anticipated to write this post…and I paid myself first. Millionaire entrepreneurs use this method to ensure that their personal financial goals become reality, and I think it makes sense in so many other contexts, as well.

Need some personal time? Make the effort to get out of bed a few minutes earlier for your cup of coffee with peanut butter toast.

Have a career plan, but aren’t sure you can make it happen? Use your best energy on it before your workplace takes that energy for someone else’s purpose.

For me, this posting was the more important personal goal of my day. I actually quite enjoy working out after I get off of work to help me unwind from the day, and had also been worried I wouldn’t have the energy to write tonight. By paying myself first, I ensured that I accomplished my personal goals, as modest as they are today.

What plans do you have for the day? Do you believe that by paying yourself first, you’ll be more consistent in accomplishing your goals?



  1. I think that it is essential to work actively toward your goals. It makes sense to pay yourself first if your goals are important to you.

  2. I think you have to be happy and secure within yourself before you can tackle anything externally!

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