Ever speculated about what a day in the life of a CEO of an international empire was like? If you guessed a gruelling morning routine accompanied by a full day of badassery and smashing goals, you would be right.
So if you’re ready for some #2k18motivation, get ready to take notes because these are the daily routines that make big money.
#1. Wake up at 4am
This horrifying suggestion may sound borderline offensive to you, but it works!
PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi starts her day as early as 4am and is in the office by 7am. With this level of dedication, it’s no wonder the powerhouse was twice named Fortune’s most powerful woman in the world.
Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger spends his 4.30am ‘quiet time’ reading newspapers, exercising, listening to music, clearing out emails and watching TV ー simultaneously. By 7am, he’s done more than what some of us accomplish in a day!
Functioning like a proper human being before noon may sound ludicrous, but research suggests that students who wake up early tend to get better grades. So, the sooner you begin your day, the more you’re able to achieve in 24 hours. The unparalleled serenity of an early morning also means fewer distractions and better focus on your tasks.
#2. Set goals the night before
It’s time to crack out that dusty diary because according to former American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault, making a to-do list for the next day should be a key ritual at the end of each day.
The businessman, who is worth a cool US$90million as of 2012, suggests writing down 3 things you want to accomplish the next day to declutter your thoughts and set the tone for the following morning.
So if you’ve never been one for New Year resolutions, don’t worry. This is different!
Setting goals at the end of your day means waking up with a sense of purpose while knowing what you intend to achieve will help you make choices towards realising these goals throughout the day.
However, instead of setting one elusive target you want to achieve 3 years from now, focus on small things you can do every day that will lead to fulfilling that goal. For example, instead of saying, “I want to graduate on time”, say “I want to take notes in all my lectures and finish all tutorial assignments on time”. Commit to these baby steps and you’ll be clutching that scroll in no time!
#3. Squeeze in a sweat session
If you used your ‘busy schedule’ as an excuse to ditch your workout buddy and retire those sports shoes, it’s time to come up with a better alibi.
Despite an impossible agenda, former XEROX CEO Ursula Burns makes sure to schedule an hour of personal training at 6am at least twice a week.
There must be method behind this madness because this boss lady isn’t the only one pumping iron in the wee hours of the morn. In between managing a US$900 billion dollar business operating in 19 countries, Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook finds the time to hit the gym at 5am every day.
We get it ㄧ walking 3 flights of stairs whenever your faculty lift breaks down seems like enough exercise to last the rest of the year, but consistent exercise reaps benefits for both your body and your brain.
Working out first thing in the morning vastly improves your concentration throughout the day and enhances your metabolism as post-exercise oxygen consumption means burning calories even while you’re bumming on your couch!
#4. Read voraciously
If the last book you read was a title on your SPM Komsas required reading list, it’s high time you hopped back on the bookworm bandwagon.
Turning pages isn’t rocket science but it can certainly help you learn a thing or two about it. Just ask Elon Musk who, as a child, read for 10 hours a day! He later launched his career as the CEO of Tesla and spacecraft manufacturer, SpaceX. This jack-of-all-trades is even known for saying that he learned how to build rockets from reading textbooks!
Most of the world’s most brilliant minds have attributed at least part of their success to reading and manage to incorporate this dying pastime into their daily routines. Take media mogul and avid reader Oprah Winfrey who even started her own book club to discuss her favourites, or Bill Gates who is said to read a new book every week!
You might be wondering, “Why do I need to read anything when I can watch a BuzzFeed video about it?” Well, not only does this old-fashioned habit help you articulate your thoughts, it also improves memory and concentration as your brain is forced to work harder to process information compared to when you’re mindlessly watching a 6-minute Tasty video.
While binge-watching iiSuperwomanii videos is a fun way to destress, picking up a book once in a while gives you a mental workout that keeps your brain sharp, and may improve your problem-solving skills.
#5. Indulge in a pre-sleep ritual
You persuade yourself to retire early in preparation for the long day ahead. But as soon as you hop into bed, you fire up your socials and suddenly it’s 2am and you’re lying awake, grimacing at embarrassing tweets from 2010.
We’ve all been there.
While we all love scrolling Facebook before bedtime, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg recommends turning off our phones before bed (GASP).
This does not only curb the unrelenting buzzing we suffer courtesy of our many WhatsApp group chats, but science has shown that the light emitted by our phones promotes wakefulness.
Arianna Huffington ㅡ columnist, author and founder of media portal HuffPost ㅡ is a big proponent of a luxe pre-sleep routine. The self-proclaimed ‘sleep evangelist’ suggests dimming the lights, taking a relaxing bubble bath and changing into pyjamas to quiet the brain, banish anxiety and indicate to the body that it’s time to wind down and get ready to sleep.
#6. Hit the sack
The final ingredient to the recipe for total world domination? A good night’s rest!
The recommended amount of sleep for adults ranging between 7 and 9 hours and seems to be the secret elixir of the world’s richest and most influential.
During his term as President of the United States of America (USA), Barack Obama only got to bed around 1am but still managed to clock in 6 hours of sleep. TV host and funny woman Ellen DeGeneres makes sure to get 8 hours of sleep while Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of online shopping mega portal Amazon, gets at least 8 hours of sleep a day.
Not only is sleep pivotal to your physical health, sleep deprivation has debilitating effects on your cognitive performance and makes you prone to a slew of fatal health conditions. In 2014, Arianna Huffington collapsed and woke up in a pool of her blood whilst catching up with some emails in her own home. The cause of her infamous meltdown? Physical exhaustion.
We aren’t saying that these habits will magically rake in the big bucks — the phenomenal achievements of these individuals are founded on decades of patience, perseverance and hard work. The road to success is long and meandering, but cultivating these habits early on is a step in the right direction!