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10 Reasons Why Late To Bed And Late To Rise Can Make You Successful

Some folks have found great success going to bed early and getting up early, but not everybody.

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There have been many articles about how getting up early is the key to success. The most well-known is one by Richard Branson, Why I Wake Up Early. Recently I read one by Peter Shankman, How to Wake Up Early (And Why It’s So Important), where Peter explains why his getting up at 3:30 a.m. is key to his success. I’m sorry, but a 3:30 a.m. wake time is just nuts – unless you own a chicken farm or a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Now there is no doubt these men are highly successful, but I have had some significant success myself and have found that I am most comfortable and successful when my sleep time is 1 to 2 a.m. and my wake time is 7 to 8 a.m. Having been a single father of five children (their mother left us when they were very little), I have had to do early wake-time for many years to get them ready and off to school. But when I didn’t have to do that anymore, I went back to my more natural later bed and wake times.

I owned and ran my own photographic distribution business and camera store for 28 years, so getting in early was not necessary. Today I am the U.S. CEO of a new professional social network, so I can set my starting time there too. Social media happens 24/7, but with very little going on at 3:30 a.m.

Here are my top 10 reasons why going to bed later and getting up later has led to my success:

1The news is really news

When you take in the news at night, you are viewing it when it is fresh and about the day you just experienced. I find it so much more relevant to see news, financial updates and sports the day it happens.

Go to bed early and you see it when you wake up – when the world is onto to something new.

2Enjoy some commuter bliss

commute-to-work

For those of us that live in New York, going into work after rush hour save hours per day and adds years to your life. And going in a touch later means you leave after rush, too.

Bonus: I would be at work after everyone else left and that was my most uninterrupted and therefore most productive time.

3Be better prepared for the next day

I look at my calendar at night for the next day and I prepare my clothes, equipment and whatever I need for the next day when no one is around to bother me or distract me. I can think about what I need with no pressure of having to leave and be someplace.

How many times have we forgotten something at home because we are rushing in the morning? I rarely do.

4Creativity peaks at night

creativity-peaks-at-night

When you wake up in the morning you are thinking about the day ahead and all the stresses you will face. At night I have had the whole day to observe and synthesise my thoughts. I do most of my writing (including this article) at night when it’s calm and quiet, there are no interruptions and I have no place to go.

5Sleep with less stress

Who likes waking up to an alarm? For me, just having the alarm set causes my sleep to be less deep. I go to bed knowing everything is prepared for the day and I don’t have anything to do in the morning other than enjoy my French press coffee and head out.

6Lift more weight and run faster

weight-lifting

Yeah, I know Rocky got up before sunrise, ate raw eggs and headed out for his run. But that’s Philadelphia via Hollywood. Per Bodybuilding Magazine, co-ordination, stamina, lung performance, body temperature, flexibility and strength are at their peak in the later afternoon to early evening period. I hit the gym right when I get home from work.

7Dinner guilt disappears and enjoyment returns

It’s common knowledge today that if you want to keep your weight under control as you age, you need to eat a light dinner. Not only is that a disappointing consequence of aging but it is difficult to do. Dinner is fun. It’s the time when we date, enjoy time with friends and enjoy great restaurants.

When your workout is done at 7 p.m., your metabolism is rocking and your dinner becomes fuel to repair your muscles. Keep the carbs low, but you can enjoy that 8 p.m. steak – guilt free.

8Take control of tomorrow

email-instructions

I use the late night period, usually close to bedtime, to send email follow-ups from the day’s events and I give my directions to my staff and others for the next day. I go to sleep knowing I have dispensed with today and wake knowing I can start a new day with new challenges.

Others will see my emails when they wake so that when I hit the office they have (hopefully) acted on my directives.

9The Cubs won the World Series

If you get up at oh-dark-early, you didn’t see Cleveland’s comeback, extra innings, a rain delay and the Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in over a century because you were asleep.

I get to see the Super Bowl without yawning through the 4th quarter. And I will actually know who becomes our next president when it actually happens – not from a phone alert when I wake up. Important stuff happens at night and I want to see it when it happens.

10Tikkun Olam

Tikkun Olam is Hebrew for “repairing the world.” My scheduling has allowed me to make a positive and meaningful contribution as a father, a company leader, and through helping others. I am on the board of two non-profits, I help manage another, I am a speaker. I write for several publications, and am lucky enough to be CEO of an amazing company and an involved father to five successful adult children. My efficient and late-oriented schedule makes all of that possible.

Some folks have found great success going to bed early and getting up early. I have found my comfort and success taking the opposite approach. It’s clear both ways can lead to having a meaningful, successful and productive life. What bedtime and wake-time makes you most successful?

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

Entrepreneur Magazine is South Africa's top read business publication with the highest readership per month according to AMPS. The title has won seven major publishing excellence awards since it's launch in 2006. Entrepreneur Magazine is the "how-to" handbook for growing companies. Find us on Google+ here.

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How To Multitask Like Tim Ferriss, Randi Zuckerberg And Other Very Busy People

Nine entrepreneurs tell us how they get it all done.

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Think you’re busy? Take a look at Guy Fieri‘s calendar. Or a U.S. Army general’s. Or an in-demand teenage actor’s. Or the CEO of a globally recognised company’s.

Some of the busiest people on the planet took time out of their days to tell us how they get it all done. Take note!

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6 Questions Entrepreneurs Should Ask When Choosing Medical Aid

As a young entrepreneur, what are the questions you should ask yourself when it comes to choosing a medical aid plan?

Catherine Black

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One of the most valuable assets in any small business is something that entrepreneurs often overlook – their own human capital. Part of making sure that you give the best of yourself to your new business is to make sure you’re in good health, and one way to invest in your health is to make sure you have a solid medical aid policy in place.

Besides being a financial safety net if you get sick or are in an accident, it can also encourage you to stay healthy in the longer term. So, as a young entrepreneur, what are the questions you should ask yourself when it comes to choosing a medical aid plan?

1. How healthy are you?

If you’re young, there’s a good chance you’re relatively healthy and not plagued with serious health issues – but this isn’t always the case. You may have a chronic condition such as diabetes or asthma, where you need regular checkups and medication. If this is the case, will your medical aid plan cover the costs of managing your chronic condition?

2. How much can you spend each month?

If you’re self-employed, you won’t have the luxury of your company paying your salary – or your medical aid cover. Compile a budget and work out exactly how much you can afford to pay towards your medical aid cover per month, bearing in mind that you may have to pay in extra for things like day-to-day medication, medical specialists out of network or even membership fees for your medical scheme’s rewards programme.

Related: Why A Small Business Owner Needs Medical Aid

3. Is there a waiting period involved?

Medical aids are able to apply waiting periods, where you won’t be covered for a certain period of time after you join their scheme depending on your health and previous medical aid cover.

If you’re joining with a pre-existing condition, remember that you won’t be covered for up to 12 months as soon as you become a member, so you’ll need to set aside money for any related costs during this time.

4. Are you planning on starting a family?

As a young entrepreneur, starting a family may be the last thing on your mind – but it’s important to factor this in when joining your medical aid, as it becomes very important later on. This is because you can’t join a medical scheme if you or your spouse is already pregnant (just as we explained in point number 3, there’s a 10-month waiting period for the “pre-existing condition” of pregnancy). Things like maternity benefits can be a lifesaver in terms of footing the bill for pregnancy and birth costs, so it’s worth thinking about this long before you’re ready to settle down.

5. What does the hospital plan offer?

If you’re young and healthy, chances are you’ll most likely opt for a hospital plan, so don’t just compare medical schemes in general – compare their hospital plans specifically. A hospital plan has the lowest premiums but also the lowest coverage: generally, it covers you if you’re admitted to hospital, but you pay for any other day-to-day medical expenses such as doctor visits and medication. Many hospital plans also come with the option of a medical savings account (MSA) attached, where you can access a certain portion of money per year for these day-to-day expenses. Others, like Fedhealth’s MediVault offering, take this even further – you can “borrow” a certain amount of money for day-to-day medical expenses from the Scheme, and then pay it back over 12 months, interest-free.

Related: Why Employees Need Funeral Cover

6. What does the fine print say?

Before you choose a medical aid plan, make sure you know exactly what’s covered and what’s not, including things like in-network and out-of-network hospitals, co-payments, limits and exclusions. Also research the scheme’s pay-out rate: do they pay medical aid rates or higher rates, which many hospitals and specialists charge?

Owning your own business is about investing in yourself, including your time, your ideas – and your health. It’s also about juggling lots of balls in the air at the same time. With a solid medical aid plan in place, you can at least know that you have your health looked after should something happen – which means your business can keep going and thrive well into the future.

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4 Psychological Reasons Entrepreneurs Should Embrace Procrastination

Do you struggle with procrastination at the office? If so, believe it or not, it might not be such a bad thing.

Lucas Miller

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There’s always something you’d rather be doing. Even right now, you might be reading this article in an attempt to avoid carrying out a less palatable endeavor.

Procrastination is normal, and especially so these days. Social media, streaming television and movies, the ease of internet access, and the ubiquity of smartphones can all distract. There are ample reasons why people procrastinate, and it’s always been thought of as a blockade to productivity.

But the perception of procrastination doesn’t always match the reality.

“Procrastination is not just avoiding or delaying a task,” says David Ballard, head of the American Psychological Association’s Center for Organisational Excellence. “It also has to include an aspect that’s counterproductive, irrational or unnecessary.”

In fact, active procrastination can often help you get more things done. Below are four psychological reasons entrepreneurs should sometimes lean into procrastination

1. Procrastination helps spur creativity

West Wing creator and Molly’s Game director Aaron Sorkin once said on the Today show, “You call it procrastinating, I call it thinking.” Sorkin puts off writing sometimes until the last minute, and the results speak for themselves.

Even if we’re not all award-winning writers, when you’re putting something off, it doesn’t have to be a distraction. It can simply be a break, and that break can open up a world of new ideas.

When you allow yourself more time to sit and think about what you’re working on, different pathways to a result can bubble into your brain. A 2012 study in Nature discovered – through brain imaging – that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) lay largely dormant when rappers were free-styling. Some athletes might even refer to this as “the zone.”

For entrepreneurs, procrastination might be just the thing to trigger an answer that would be impossible to reach if they didn’t let their minds wander away from the task at hand.

Related: Are You A Procrastinator? Don’t Be By Doing These 3 Things

2. Procrastination aids memory recall

In 1927, Lithuanian psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik first discovered how interrupting an event can actually help people remember it. After her professor noticed waiters at a nearby cafe remembered open tabs better than those that had already been paid, she tested the hypothesis by giving a series of puzzles to people to complete, while subtly interrupting half of them.

Those that were interrupted were able to recall details with 90 percent more accuracy than those who were allowed to complete the task. The Zeigarnik Effect was borne.

The same could be said for today’s entrepreneurs. Breaking for lunch, hitting the gym, reading a book, jumping on another task or simply staring out the window can help you better remember the various moving parts in the mission you’re trying to finish.

3. Shockingly, procrastination can enhance focus

This seems like a paradox on its surface. How can you focus better by interrupting what you’re doing – i.e. procrastinating?

Instead of bearing the monotony of working on a single task until it’s done, it’s more helpful to move away – at least briefly. Concentration wanes if we don’t break up the the tedium. Similar to triggering creativity, we’re better able to concentrate if we take a brief blow.

study in 2011 looked at this psychological effect. Subjects were asked to remember random digits while performing a visual task. They found that once people were asked to recall the digits, their performance on the visual task declined over time. But when researchers interrupted the visual exercise with sporadic reminders of the digits, their visual scores remained high no matter the duration.

The short of it: Take a break every once in a while, even if you’re on deadline.

4. Procrastination often yields better decision-making

Oftentimes, entrepreneurs will receive an important email that needs an answer. There’s no hard timetable on the answer, but because of the weight of the question, people drop everything to arrive at an answer. If you don’t take a moment to sit back and let the full import of the question sink in, you’re liable to make the wrong decision.

Researchers at Columbia performed an experiment to test this idea. Would a little more time actually lead to better decisions?

Related: 6 Steps To Go From Procrastinating To Productive

First, they asked the subjects to determine which direction a set of black dots was moving across the screen. At the same time, a cluster of coloured dots starting moving to distract them. Participants were asked to judge as quickly as possible.

When the coloured dots moved in the same direction as the black dots, the results were basically perfect. But when they moved in opposite directions, the accuracy dropped.

Second, they performed the exact same experiment, but subjects were asked to answer when they heard a clicking sound, which they varied between 17-500 milliseconds – a time span meant to mimic real-life decisions, like driving. Researchers found that when decisions were delayed by about 120 milliseconds, their accuracy significantly improved.

However, the researchers differentiated between prolonged and delayed decision-making. If subjects made the decision too quickly, the brain was still filtering out the distractions (coloured dots). But if it took too long, it could be hindered by other distractions.

The same could be said for procrastination. Procrastinate too much, or for too long, and nothing will ever get done. But, as we’ve seen, there are some serious psychological benefits to procrastination.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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