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To find out how high achievers organise their lives we asked seven top business people to run us through their working day – including the bosses of AOL and Ericsson. Introducing the interviews, Tim Dowling discovers that a very early start is the key to success …

Investigating the bedtimes of high achievers in hopes of divining the secret of success sounds a bit like looking to a novelist’s desk placement for the key to good writing. I want my characters to be believable – should I be facing the window? But there is no doubt that once you start examining the daily schedules of CEOs, patterns emerge. Some of the routine is dictated by the job, but a lot of it is the product of outlook and approach. These folks live their lives in a very directed way. How do they manage, day in, day out? And what can we learn from the habits of seven highly effective people?

• First off – and there’s no getting around this one, I’m afraid – you have to get up early. Really early: 6am is good, but 5am is better. And CEOs don’t hit snooze: most of them claim to leap out of bed in the morning (even though it’s basically still night) and more than one said that “life is too exciting” for sleep.

• Business and domestic life are hopelessly blurred. Leisure activities are as rigidly organised as the office diary – nobody lies in on Saturdays; they get up early and exercise – and everybody seems happy to let work follow them home. Quality time with children is timetabled, which might sound a bit ruthless, but at least they are determined to include some. For most of these company heads, the working week starts again on Sunday evening.

• It’s clear that none of these people ever gets a chance to do the sudoku in the morning.

• They may be in charge of large international companies, but they are absolute slaves to email. Karen Blackett of MediaCom claims to receive 500 a day. They’re emailing first thing in the morning, and last thing at night, and throughout the day. For the modern CEO, dealing with your own email seems to be some kind of touchstone of accessibility. I’m not sure what I’d do if I got 500 emails every day, but I know what I wouldn’t do: I wouldn’t read them.

• Far from giving you a blueprint for your rise to the top, these routines will probably cause you to reconsider the whole idea of becoming CEO of a major communications conglomerate. For the most part, it sounds horrible. There is no respite at the top of the greasy pole, no finish line at the end of the rat race – it’s just more of the same. What’s the point of being rich and successful if you have to get up before dawn every day to answer 500 emails? There are so many other options open to you: wage slave, failed artist, cowboy plumber, petty thief, local weirdo. The money isn’t good, but the hours are very attractive.

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article courtesy of Joy105.com

 

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