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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 Calculate the True Monetary Value of Your Time

As an entrepreneur, your time is precious. To protect it, you must know exactly what it’s worth.

Nathan Resnick

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Do you know the value of your time? Ken Segall, creator of Apple’s famous ‘Think Different’ ad campaign for agency Chiat/Day, said he got thrown out of a meeting once by the founder of his agency, Jay Chiat.

“Why are you here?” he asked Segall and the art director, who’d shown up with everybody else. “We’re just responding to the invitation,” said Segall. Chiat told them to get lost. “Go create something,” he said.

Jay Chiat knew the value of his creative people’s time. He knew it wasn’t worth it for them to go into that meeting when they could be putting together the next big ad campaign. They were more valuable to the company doing the creative work that made it run than attending a meeting.

That’s what knowing the value of your time can do for you; it tells you what’s most important. Time is the one resource all of us have, but it’s also painfully finite in nature. You can’t bank it — all you can do is invest 
it wisely.

As an entrepreneur, if you don’t know the true monetary value of your time, how are you going to prioritise your business and your life? What does it take to find the monetary value of your time?

Invest your time

Be aware that your time is likely to appreciate in value. If you’re a founder or running a successful business, your time’s value will increase as your business does. Sooner or later, the monetary value of your time is going to surpass the importance of money. It’ll be more important for you to invest your time in moving the business forward because your time is going to be worth more. So, invest your time on process early, lest you spend it later putting out fires.

Related: 5 Time-Management Tools for Small Businesses to Improve Productivity

Crunch the numbers

James Clear

Entrepreneur James Clear decided to approach this problem systematically — he talked to everyone from poker players to executive coaches to figure out what the optimal method of measuring his time’s value was.

Then, he sat down and tracked every hour for three months. The upshot of that time investment was a very clear process that you can use to lay out what your time is worth.

First, figure out the amount of time you spend to earn money. That’s not just time spent working. Are you commuting? That’s time you’re using towards work that’s not going elsewhere. School? That counts. Drop the kids off at school? Add it on.

If it’s related to the time you spend earning money, add it on. Clear’s estimate guesses that most full-time employees and entrepreneurs spend around 2 500 hours a year on this (his exact estimate for himself came out to 2 742).

Then, figure out how much you earn in take-home pay per year. That calculation should be pretty simple, though if you’re a business owner, it’ll be a little more complex as you figure out taxes and withholding.

Divide your total earnings by the hours you spend to earn it. That’s your time’s value.

Surprised? It’s probably lower than you expected, especially if you calculated the extra hours devoted to things like dropping of kids at school or commuting accurately. We don’t often think of our work value in terms of total hours spent.

Related: 6 Reasons Why Time Management Is Such A Waste Of Time

Create a system of checks and balances

You don’t want to just rely on that, though. Maybe you’re being underpaid (or underpaying yourself, if you’re an entrepreneur — don’t laugh, it’s more common than you think). Maybe another factor is throwing it off, or your math has 
an error.

Consider a few other factors:

  • What do other people make to do your job?
  • What would you pay someone else to do your job?
  • What could you make on the open market if you were to go find another job?

Run those numbers against each other to determine an average. For entrepreneurs, this changes everything. Once you understand this number, it’ll change the way you approach everything in your business and your life.

Know what your own time is worth. Remind yourself of it constantly. If you do, you’ll find yourself more productive, more efficient, more satisfied, and more successful.

So, what are you waiting for? Invest wisely.

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(Infographic) 9 Productivity Mistakes You’re Making In The First 10 Minutes Of Your Day

From setting goals to drinking coffee, these bad morning habits might surprise you.

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There are a number of things you’re probably doing every morning that are actually hindering your productivity.

If you’re an avid coffee drinker, you might be surprised to find out that drinking coffee between 8 and 10 a.m can make you more stressed throughout the day. That’s because caffeine early in the morning interferes with the time that the stress hormone, cortisol, is peaking in your body. It’s best to get your fix between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

When you get into the office and try to jump right into the top of your to-do list, you might find yourself confused and not very productive. When you don’t let your brain empty and refresh before starting a project or task, it loses a sense of control, becomes overwhelmed and ultimately, makes you less productive. Something else to avoid is checking email or social media right when you wake up. Typically, after checking your inbox, it takes a person at least 25 minutes to get back into a productive state. If you start your day off reading and responding to email after email, it will take you a long time to get back on track.

Another surprising mistake is setting self-imposed goals. Setting goals and deadlines for yourself might seem like an obvious productivity hack, but it turns out, that’s not the case. Instead, share your deadlines with others and you’ll feel more pressure and responsibility to get things done.

Related: 5 Surprising Elements That Boost Your Productivity (One of Them Is Colour)

Check out resume.io’s infographic below for more productivity mistakes you’re likely making in the first 10 minutes of your day.

1538429589_9-productivity-mistakes-infographics-7934969f76af5ebe1b5b0b84ce9053ec43752717512fb7d9339e84f86afe91d1

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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Workflow And Business Efficiency – 5 Strategies You Ignore At Your Peril

Emails alone don’t cut it as an efficient way to communicate with team members. You’re not still depending on email, are you?

Toby Nwazor

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An inefficient business can cost you a lot more than just growth – it can affect your revenue, too. According to a report by IDC, your business runs the risk of losing 20 to 30 percent of your revenue due to inefficient systems.

Unfortunately, many companies still struggle to implement the right systems to improve their workflow. Others have it worse, because they have no systems. In those situations, projects take ages to be completed, more time is spent on menial tasks and teams never seem to get enough done during work hours.

If that describes your company, your company’s profits may start to plummet, too.

Every successful business, then, has clearly defined systems to help the business run like clockwork. Improved workflow, better management and business efficiency save time, increase the bottom line and ensure a higher profit margin.

In fact, in an article on ContractZen, Tim Cummins, president of the International Association for Contract & Commercial Management, wrote that, “The average corporation could boost its bottom line by almost 10 percent if it invested in improving the quality of contracting.

For many companies – especially those in more complex, project-based industries – the prize could be much higher – perhaps as much as 15 percent.”

Related: Become A Life-Hacker

Unfortunately, some companies fail to provide systems that put users first, taking a negative toll on those companies’ workflow and efficiency. The good news is that they’re only five strategies away from turning this around:

1. Automate all you can

automated-emails

From email lists, bookkeeping, invoicing and contract management, to social media posts and payrolls, almost everything can be automated. For a business that aims to be more efficient, automation is a must.

Automation doesn’t just save you time, it can be the one strategy that can guarantee explosive growth and higher conversion rates. According to this Lead Generation Marketing Effectiveness study, 63 percent of companies polled that were outgrowing their competitors said they had automated their marketing.

Automating monotonous tasks that have to be repeated several times during the day helps you be more productive in tasks that require your personal attention.

2. Invest in customer-relationship management software

It’s not uncommon to find businesses that are barely able to keep up with their leads. Some waste hours hunting the low-quality leads instead of focusing their energy on those ready to buy. Here, a customer relationship management (CRM) solution linked to these businesspeople’s network phone system is a great way to enhance customer communications.

Customers value businesses that provide excellent customer service. A CRM solution increases the ability to keep track of customer information, monitor leads and provide efficient delivery. Businesses can provide for their customers’ needs faster and make effective business decisions. With CRM, businesses can also keep their focus on quality leads that will drastically improve conversion rates.

Related: 11 Ways To Maximise Every Part Of Your Day

3. Set up a task-management system

slack-logo

Emails alone don’t cut it as an efficient way to communicate with team members. Email makes it difficult to carry everyone along. However, setting up task-management software like Slack, Trello or Asana makes it much easier to have everyone’s tasks in one place and ensure that everyone is carried along in the project.

Task-management software helps members of a team track their progress and ensure that everyone is working on their tasks.

4. Sync your calendar with that of everyone else on your team

How many times have you had to reschedule appointments because you didn’t know you had other meetings lined up for the day?

Aside from leaving negative impression in clients’ mind, this error makes you less productive. Having to go back and forth until you have settled on an appropriate date can be cumbersome especially when different time zones are involved. So, do this instead: Sync your personal calendar with your work calendar, and make sure that everyone in your team is synced to the latter, too.

This will ensure sure that everybody is “on the same page” in terms of appointments and deadlines. Google Calendar can help you do just that. Once everyone is synced up, any change in the calendar will be seen by everyone so they can manage their own appointments.

5. Block out chunks of time

time-management

Constant interruptions hamper your workflow. Imagine having to deal with turning over a project on a deadline while you’re stuck in a series of meetings throughout the day. It can get very difficult to focus on completing your most urgent tasks.

Block out chunks of time on your calendar for uninterrupted work. It’s better to schedule a series of meetings in one day than to spread them throughout the week.

If you’re creating content, block out one day to create all the content you’ll use for the week. That way your business will run more efficiently.

Related: 3 Reasons You Should Embrace Change

Wrapping it up

With the right strategies, you can turn your business around to make it efficient and lucrative. Automating your processes, setting up the right software and remaining focused on the tasks at hand will go a long way to help you do this. But just as with every good strategy, you need to remain consistent and give it time to do its magic.

This article was originally posted here on Entrepreneur.com.

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