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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.

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Finding Your WHY This Year (Why Do YOU Get Up In The Mornings?)

If you wake up every day for something you believe in, you will live your purpose.

Jade Amic

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I had a long conversation with a colleague and I asked her if she knew why she did what she did. What was her reason for getting up in the morning?

I contemplated the question I had just asked and realised it was not such an easy question to answer. I had spent years figuring out what’s important to me in my life and my career but had not yet figured out exactly why I do what I do. Why do I get out of bed every day and do this advertising thing? What do I believe in and why do I believe in it? What is my why?

This led me down an interesting road of self-discovery, and it soon led me to Simon Sinek. I immersed myself in his podcasts, TED talks and books and began to understand why some companies are successful and why some aren’t. I learnt about the Golden Circle and how all companies know what they do and how they do it, but very few know why. I learnt that people don’t buy into what you do, they buy into why you do it.

why-how-what-graph

Simon says, (sorry, I had to!) “There are only two ways to influence human behaviour: you can manipulate it or you can inspire it.”

Related: 50 Inspirational Quotes To Help You Achieve Your Goals

We are inspired by leaders and organisations that communicate what they believe in. They have the ability to make us feel special, safe, like we belong, and like we’re not alone.

Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and the Wright Brothers are great examples of people that started from the inside out, they all started with their why.

Sinek points out that “Leaders have a rank but those who lead, inspire. It’s leadership’s responsibility to point North, say where we’re going and allow everybody else to figure out how to get there.”

I could see the value in these great leaders finding their why but I hadn’t quite answered my own question – What is my why?

Using the Golden Circle I worked my way from the clarity of my ‘what’ to the fuzziness of my ‘why’.

The more I unpacked this, the more I realised how it influences so much more than just my career choices. It influences my life choices as well. It impacts my relationships with my colleagues, my goals and it helps me prioritise what is important and what isn’t.

I’ve learnt that to truly understand your why, you need to understand what it is that you believe in and value. You need to allow these beliefs and values to guide you – to become your North Star. Your compass. When you know where you’re going, (and why) you’re flexible along your journey. But if your destination is unclear, the route you’re taking and the obstacles that come with it become your focus.

Knowing what you do is easy.

Knowing why you do it, that’s the part that takes work.

But once you’ve figured it out, you’ll find yourself being drawn to people and organisations that have a similar why to you. You’ll find your work has more meaning, and doing that work, becomes more meaningful.

If you wake up every day for something you believe in, you will live your purpose.

Start with why by Simon Sinek.

Related: Follow These 8 Steps To Stay Focused And Reach Your Goals

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6 Steps To Go From Procrastinating To Productive

As an entrepreneur, practice saying to yourself, “I will not do the work of my smart, very talented and motivated team.”

Jeffrey Hayzlett

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Procrastinating To Productive

As entrepreneurs and business owners, we have tasks on our list that we’d rather not do. So, we keep moving the goal post farther down the field and do almost anything we can to avoid those distasteful jobs.

Personally, I don’t like to get involved in extra paperwork or monthly expense reports. Other founders have their own least favorite activities.

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing because there’s an obvious solution: delegation. As a matter of fact, I created a motto along these lines: I will not do the work of my smart, very talented and motivated team.

My job, after all, is to concentrate on the bigger parts of the business, like generating revenue. And while there are other such tasks that are necessary to operating a business, I might be avoiding them too because they slow me down. So, I again delegate them to the team.

I guess in a way, we’re all capable of being procrastinators.

According to a 2013 survey by salary.com, 69 percent of survey respondents said they wasted time at work on a daily basis – a 5 percent increase from the previous year. Thirty-four percent of respondents estimated they routinely wasted 30 minutes or less each day; 24 percent said they wasted between 30 and 60 minutes; and 11 percent said they wasted hours every day.

As a business owner, I could see how those numbers might send my fellow owners’ blood pressure through the roof, but my own response would be more practical: I’d pursue tools, tricks and techniques to minimise procrastination and maximize productivity.

Related: Deepak Chopra Has 3 Simple And Surprising Productivity Secrets For You

Here are a few of those techniques:

Don’t overwhelm yourself

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of work on your plate, meetings and deadlines. Lately, I’ve been focusing on launching new avenues for C-Suite TV, and it can be overwhelming sometimes.

When tasks seem insurmountable, here’s one way to lessen that burden: Get out your “to-do” list. Then, instead of writing down that big task as one huge thing, break it down. Breaking a big task into multiple line items makes it more manageable. You have your end goal, but by reducing it to its smaller components, you get a clearer picture of what you need to do.

Crossing off the smaller parts of the larger task gives you a sense of accomplishment you wouldn’t have if you tackled the massive task all at once.

Flip the script

I don’t care who you are: Whether you’re a worker, a manager or a CEO, you’re just like everyone – and we all hate doing certain tasks. So why not flip the script?

Bite the bullet, kiss the frog – whatever you want to call it: Put that task at the top of your to-do list that day. You’ll eliminate the task quickly and move on to the rest of your day. Not to mention, you’ll have a bigger sense of accomplishment knowing that you’ve steam-rolled the largest obstacle you had awaiting you.

Related: How To Make Better Business Decisions That Drive Productivity And Profits

Forget perfection

Everyone wants to make a good impression and put his or her best foot forward at work. Procrastination comes not from the inability to get the job done, but from fear and insecurity. Being unsure how to perform a specific task makes us fear failure and being seen in a negative light by the boss.

I always tell my team that, “No one’s going to die.” What’s the worst thing that can happen if a specific task isn’t perfect? I might get mad if the task is not completed within the given deadline, but not if it merely needs to be tweaked. Many times, the worst conversations happen inside our own heads and we let that imaginary conversation rule our other decisions. That’s when we make mistakes.

If you’re worried about your work quality, allocate a set amount of time each day to complete (or revise) parts of the project. It’s possible to perfect a task without obsessing over it and losing focus. That’s when you know it’s time to let go of the project and focus on other things. Say it with me: No one will die.

Kill the squirrels (or distractions)

squirrels

It’s easy to procrastinate with the million distractions we have every day. According to a survey by Stop Procrastinating, 68 percent of Americans surveyed said they’d been distracted from their work duties by checking their emails, browsing the web or engaging in social media. And that was a 9 percent increase from a year before. Of that 68 percent, 39 percent said distractions cost them a whole hour a day.

Sure, it’s tempting to constantly check your Facebook or Twitter feeds, but here’s a radical concept: Log out of your social media accounts for a few hours every day.

Instead, focus on your tasks and nothing else. Do whatever it takes to get into the “zone,” to accomplish your goal. Some people at my office use headphones to muffle outside noise. I block out time on my calendar, which my employees have access to, and dedicate that time to a specific task I need to accomplish. I may even specify “no phone calls” to ensure I stay in my zone.

Be a good time manager

To transition from procrastinator to proactive leader requires organization on your part, from your mindset to your schedule. It’s hard to be organized when you feel you’re juggling multiple things, but to succeed, you must learn to juggle. Deciding how much time to dedicate to each task makes you more efficient.

For some of us busy executives, even our down time needs to be scheduled.

Related: 5 Ways That Coffee Affects Productivity

Recently, I attended the Rocky Mountain Economic Summit, where I mingled with top economists, business leaders and policymakers. I had a busy schedule, interviewing a top CEO. But I also managed to schedule down time. Being from South Dakota, I enjoy the outdoors so I scheduled some fly fishing time – away from technology, emails and phone calls.

If you’re a good time manager, you’ll have time for everything, including play time. It takes some dedication and discipline, but it’s not impossible.

Remember that the early bird gets the worm

I operate on little sleep. As any workaholic will tell you, when you go to bed at night, you can’t wait to start your day the next morning. Indeed, dawn is the most productive part of the day, according to this Wall Street Journal article. That hour of the morning brings minimal distractions, no email and hardly anyone on social media.

Apple CEO Tim Cook, starts his day at 3:45 a.m.. Richard Branson likes to “sleep in” until 5 a.m., and even my friend and fellow entrepreneur Peter Shankman gets up before it’s light out. As a business owner, entrepreneur and keynote speaker, I’ve done my fair share of early mornings; You’d be surprised how much you can get done by the time everyone else walks in the office.

The one takeaway here is that in order to make a successful transition from procrastinating to productive, you have to be disciplined, motivated and focused: disciplined enough to curb distractions, motivated enough to want to reach your end goal and focused enough to execute a plan that works for you.

We’re all different, so there’s no magic bullet solution for procrastination. But if you can build a plan that works for you, work the plan.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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(Infographic) The Organisational Tactics, Work Habits And Routines Of The Most Successful People

Take a look at how some of the most successful people set up their workspace.

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How your workspace is set up can help or hinder your productivity. So what makes for a great workspace?

For inspiration, see how people such as Elon Musk and Oprah Winfrey organise their desks and surroundings. Of course, different tactics work for different people. So to maximise productivity, find what best suits you.

While many people believe a clean desk will provide clarity and decrease stress, that’s not what Albert Einstein thought. In fact, Einstein was a supporter of the messy desk, having once said:

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?”

Related: 5 Habits You Should Steal From Other Entrepreneurs’ Morning Routines

Mark Zuckerberg prefers to have the same desk as every other Facebook employee. Studies have shown that open floor plans can encourage creativity and productivity – especially if you’re rubbing elbows with the CEO.

Another option is the standing desk. According to research, productivity can get a 10 percent boost when using a standing desk. An avid user of the standing desk was author Ernest Hemingway, who put his typewriter on top of a bookshelf in his bedroom.

Check out National Pen’s infographic below to see the desk styles of some of the most famous people history to today.

national-pen-famous-desks-infographic

Related: 3 Daily Routines For Becoming Happier And More Successful

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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