What if I were to tell you that you could have an extra two months of time and productivity in a year? Two months! Sixty days! You might call me crazy. While its true that we all have the same 24 hours in a day, the valuable degrees in which we utilize the same 24 hours in a day vary widely.
They say that “The early bird, gets the worm.” They have that saying everywhere in the world you travel. They all have a saying like that because it’s true no matter where you go. Whether you’re a stay at home parent of three or the C.E.O. of Apple or any other major company, you will find they all have patterns. A pattern that directly contributes to their success; They wake up early.
I did tell you that I would reveal to you how to get an extra sixty days in a year (two months.) Well, look no further, let’s do some simple math. The average person wakes up at 8 o’clock in the morning. If you adjust your wake up time, to 4 o’clock in the morning, you would acquire 4 hours in the day, you would have otherwise spent sleeping. Compound that each day for the entire year, 4 hours times 365 days a year equals 1,460 hours. Divide it by 24 hours in a day and you have 60.83 days, or two months to simplify it.
Let’s look at a few examples
- Apple CEO Tim Cook- Wakes up at 4:30AM according to Ryan Tate at gawker.com
- Former GE CEO Jeff Immelt- Wakes up at 5:30AM every day and notes he works 100 hour work weeks and has done so for the last 28 years.
- The Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson- Gets 5 hours of sleep each night and then gets back at it again, every day according to CNBC . Lights out by 11:00PM.
These are just a few. You can look across nearly all successful companies and find the same. They are all early risers. You can look and also see not just C.E.O.’s but C.O.O.’s as well. How do you think they achieved the level they are at? They had an advantage, and it wasn’t any unspoken privilege. It was how they chose to utilize their 24 hours a day.
Whether you are an aspiring C.E.O., C.O.O. or future leader in your chosen industry, you will need to employ successful habits. I have researched and come up with a list of successful individuals daily rituals. So I send you this challenge.
- Wake up at 4:00AM every day. Not just Monday through Friday, but all 7 days. This can be the most difficult one for people. Use an alarm clock and place it far away from your bed so you have to rise to turn it off but close enough that it will wake you. I use a bookshelf in my room that on the furthest wall away from my bed.
- Exercise. Everyday complete an exercise routine. It doesn’t have to be running or even going to a gym. Its often times a huge task to get ready, pack a bag, drive to the gym, then exercise, drive back home, shower and prepare for your day. So, I recommend you try to have some kettlebells at home. Utilize just 20 minutes of kettlebell exercises to get the blood flowing. Do yoga, just exercise.
- God to bed by 9:00- 9:30PM. You cant wake up on time if you’re staying up until 11:00PM each night. Stop telling yourself you can’t go to bed that early or wake up at 4:00AM. You can. You must get to sleep.
- No Cell Phones in the bedroom! (I just felt people gasp!) We often end up scrolling through news feeds from Facebook and Twitter while we are in the bed, look at the time and an hour has passed us by. We then turn it off and attempt to sleep but the electronic itself hinder our sleep. Use a regular old-fashioned alarm clock to get up instead of the cell phone alarm clock. Once I broke this habit, I slept so much better.
- Winddown before bed. Its often times hard to get in the bed by 9:00PM and actually fall asleep. We are becoming such night owls. Pick a winddown routine. Start this routine at around 8:00PM. Clean up the house a bit, prep your coffee machine or pre-grind your coffee beans so it easier in the morning. Take a hot shower or relaxing bath (yes men too.) Use sleeping clothes dedicated to just sleep. Dedicated pajamas. Heres a link to some old-timey pj’s. Men’s PJ’s Womens PJ’s .
- Read the news. Notice I said ‘read’. Read a newspaper or read the news from an online source such as yahoo finance or the new york times online. I prefer the old ways of reading the news and utilizing a newspaper. My grandfather, who was a successful businessman reads the newspaper every morning. I was lucky enough to see this in action, in real life. But for everyone else, take the example of Warren Buffett one of the most successful men in our nation. He spends 80% of his day reading. Now he’s wealthy beyond belief and can afford to spend that much time reading. I am just saying to read each morning. It increases your vocabulary, keeps you in the know about what is going on, you learn about many areas such as investing, home prices, tips and tricks for everyday things. It’s important that you read your news.
- Keep a proper calendar. Set up your calendar, whether you utilize an outlook calendar or a paper one. Keep items on it and complete them all, in the proper time allotted. If it’s on the calendar, it more likely to get accomplished. We all get a small amount of dopamine from crossing off that item as completed and dopamine in our brains makes us feel good. So why not get your dopamine supply from something that will bring you successs.
- Each morning, write down three (3) goals that you want to accomplish for that day. Just three. If you have trouble finding one, just keep it simple at first, more high profile items will start showing up on that little list of goals. Just keep it simple stupid. No matter what occurs in your day, complete that list of items.
The fact is, we all want to be successful. So let’s learn what it takes to be successful and give it a fair chance. Tell yourself that you can do it. You can wake up early, you can be more purposeful and constructive with your day. In the end, you are the reason you will either succeed or fail at anything, not anyone else. It’s up to you.