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This List Of 15 Big-Shot Executives Who Wake Up Early Will Make You Think Twice About Sleeping In

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This List Of 15 Big-Shot Executives Who Wake Up Early Will Make You Think Twice About Sleeping In

Waking up early has become common advice in self-improvement circles. After all, it makes sense. Waking up early gives you time where you can focus and get things done before dealing with pesky distractions. As you rise before the majority, you’ll find a strange sense of tranquility that motivates and inspires you. But why take my word for it? Read on to see how some of the most powerful men and women spend their mornings.

1. GE CEO Jeff Immelt

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    Jeff Immelt has a rock solid morning routine. He rises at 5:30AM and does cardio while watching and reading the latest news. This allows him to get his exercise in (which is important for a lot of reasons), all while consuming information that will contribute to decisions he will make throughout the day.

    2. Xerox CEO Ursula Burns

    Xerox CEO Ursula Burns

      Ursula wakes up at 5:15AM and immediately gets started on her email. She also spends an hour in the morning on personal training. Diligence, hard work, and being an early riser all have contributed to her earning the #22 spot on Forbes’ Power Woman list.

      3. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz

      Starbucks-Howard_Schultz

        Of course you know Starbucks. There’s one practically every block, there’s always a crazy line, the environment is incredibly hip, and everyone working there seems to be amazingly happy. Who’s behind all this? Howard Schultz.

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        In order to pull all this off, Schultz starts out early – getting to the headquarters at around 6 or 6:30 AM. Before that, he fits in a workout or even a bikeride.

        4. Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne

        MarchionneDec2010__mid

          Bringing Chrysler back from the dead as American car companies struggled to stay afloat, requires time and skill. Sergio Marchionne did it by starting early – he wakes up at 3:30AM every morning. This also allows him to interact with those in European timezones.

          5. PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi

          indra_nooyi_OurLeadership

            Indra Nooyi heads up PepsiCo – one of the largest beverage companies in the United States. She gets her day started at 4AM and is at the office by 7AM.

            6. Former General Motors’ CEO Dan Akerson

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              Dan Akerson would wake up every morning around 4:30AM in order to stay in contact with GM companies overseas. This allowed him to help resurrect General Motors.

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              7. Hain Celestial Group CEO Irwin Simon

              image (1)

                Irwin Simon may be the king of morning productivity. He begins at 5AM to keep in touch with overseas offices. Then he exercises, walks the dog, and prays all before he arrives at work. Sometimes he fits a meeting in there, too.

                8. Square CEO Jack Dorsey

                jackdorsey

                  Co-founder and co-creator of Twitter. CEO of Square. Wall Street Journal’s 2012 Innovator of the Year. A net worth of more than 2 billion. All of this describes Jack Dorsey, an entreprenuer based out of Silicon Valley. How does he manage to do all of this?

                  Well for one, he wakes up every morning at 5:30AM to meditate and go for a 6 mile jog. This gives him a headstart that allows him to push above the competition.

                  9. Richard Branson, founder and chairman of the Virgin Group

                  richardbranson

                    Richard Branson is sixty years old and still going strong. He wakes up at 6:00AM every morning to get a nice jog in before he starts his day. As a founder of more than 400 companies (under the Virgin moniker), it only makes sense to look to him for wisdom.

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                    10. Apple CEO Tim Cook

                    tim cook

                      Coworkers describe Tim Cook as being first in the office and the last out. He wakes up around 4:30AM. Not surprising for the man running the world’s most valuable company.

                      11. Disney CEO Bob Iger

                      BOB IGER

                        Bob Iger is CEO of Disney, perhaps the most known name in entertainment. In order to keep the company pushing out some of the greatest films he wakes up at 4:45AM. From there he’s off to the gym at 5, and at the office by 6.

                        12. Starwood Hotels CEO Frits Van Paasschen

                        Frits van Paasschen, president and CEO Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, speaks during the Reuters 2011 Global Fashion and Luxury Summit in New York

                          Frits Van Paaschen runs one of the largest hotel chains in the world. He’s running at 5:50AM and starts working by 6:30.

                          13. Brooklyn Nets CEO Brett Yormark

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                          image

                            You’ve got to be on your game as one of the youngest CEO’s in the NBA. Brett Yorkmark does this by waking up at 3:30AM to get to the office by 4:30.

                            14. GM CEO Mary Barra

                            marrybarra

                              Taking the reigns of GM as the first female CEO at the company, Mary Barra has to be at peak performance. She’s at the office by 6AM to get started on her day.

                              15. Former president George W. Bush

                              georgewbush

                                He’s not a business CEO, but he did become the most powerful man in the world. Even if you don’t agree with his political views, his work ethic is most definitely present. George W. Bush was known for being at the oval office by 6:45AM and holding meetings as early as sunrise.

                                Convinced you should become an early riser? Check out this article for some tips on how to wake up happy.

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                                Last Updated on October 21, 2021

                                How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

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                                How to Create Your Own Ritual to Conquer Time Wasters and Laziness

                                Life is wasted in the in-between times. The time between when your alarm first rings and when you finally decide to get out of bed. The time between when you sit at your desk and when productive work begins. The time between making a decision and doing something about it.

                                Slowly, your day is whittled away from all the unused in-between moments. Eventually, time wasters, laziness, and procrastination get the better of you.

                                The solution to reclaim these lost middle moments is by creating rituals. Every culture on earth uses rituals to transfer information and encode behaviors that are deemed important. Personal rituals can help you build a better pattern for handling everything from how you wake up to how you work.

                                Unfortunately, when most people see rituals, they see pointless superstitions. Indeed, many rituals are based on a primitive understanding of the world. But by building personal rituals, you get to encode the behaviors you feel are important and cut out the wasted middle moments.

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                                Program Your Own Algorithms

                                Another way of viewing rituals is by seeing them as computer algorithms. An algorithm is a set of instructions that is repeated to get a result.

                                Some algorithms are highly efficient, sorting or searching millions of pieces of data in a few seconds. Other algorithms are bulky and awkward, taking hours to do the same task.

                                By forming rituals, you are building algorithms for your behavior. Take the delayed and painful pattern of waking up, debating whether to sleep in for another two minutes, hitting the snooze button, repeat until almost late for work. This could be reprogrammed to get out of bed immediately, without debating your decision.

                                How to Form a Ritual

                                I’ve set up personal rituals for myself for handling e-mail, waking up each morning, writing articles, and reading books. Far from making me inflexible, these rituals give me a useful default pattern that works best 99% of the time. Whenever my current ritual won’t work, I’m always free to stop using it.

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                                Forming a ritual isn’t too difficult, and the same principles for changing habits apply:

                                1. Write out your sequence of behavior. I suggest starting with a simple ritual of only 3-4 steps maximum. Wait until you’ve established a ritual before you try to add new steps.
                                2. Commit to following your ritual for thirty days. This step will take the idea and condition it into your nervous system as a habit.
                                3. Define a clear trigger. When does your ritual start? A ritual to wake up is easy—the sound of your alarm clock will work. As for what triggers you to go to the gym, read a book or answer e-mail—you’ll have to decide.
                                4. Tweak the Pattern. Your algorithm probably won’t be perfectly efficient the first time. Making a few tweaks after the first 30-day trial can make your ritual more useful.

                                Ways to Use a Ritual

                                Based on the above ideas, here are some ways you could implement your own rituals:

                                1. Waking Up

                                Set up a morning ritual for when you wake up and the next few things you do immediately afterward. To combat the grogginess after immediately waking up, my solution is to do a few pushups right after getting out of bed. After that, I sneak in ninety minutes of reading before getting ready for morning classes.

                                2. Web Usage

                                How often do you answer e-mail, look at Google Reader, or check Facebook each day? I found by taking all my daily internet needs and compressing them into one, highly-efficient ritual, I was able to cut off 75% of my web time without losing any communication.

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                                3. Reading

                                How much time do you get to read books? If your library isn’t as large as you’d like, you might want to consider the rituals you use for reading. Programming a few steps to trigger yourself to read instead of watching television or during a break in your day can chew through dozens of books each year.

                                4. Friendliness

                                Rituals can also help with communication. Set up a ritual of starting a conversation when you have opportunities to meet people.

                                5. Working

                                One of the hardest barriers when overcoming procrastination is building up a concentrated flow. Building those steps into a ritual can allow you to quickly start working or continue working after an interruption.

                                6. Going to the gym

                                If exercising is a struggle, encoding a ritual can remove a lot of the difficulty. Set up a quick ritual for going to exercise right after work or when you wake up.

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                                7. Exercise

                                Even within your workouts, you can have rituals. Spacing the time between runs or reps with a certain number of breaths can remove the guesswork. Forming a ritual of doing certain exercises in a particular order can save time.

                                8. Sleeping

                                Form a calming ritual in the last 30-60 minutes of your day before you go to bed. This will help slow yourself down and make falling asleep much easier. Especially if you plan to get up full of energy in the morning, it will help if you remove insomnia.

                                8. Weekly Reviews

                                The weekly review is a big part of the GTD system. By making a simple ritual checklist for my weekly review, I can get the most out of this exercise in less time. Originally, I did holistic reviews where I wrote my thoughts on the week and progress as a whole. Now, I narrow my focus toward specific plans, ideas, and measurements.

                                Final Thoughts

                                We all want to be productive. But time wasters, procrastination, and laziness sometimes get the better of us. If you’re facing such difficulties, don’t be afraid to make use of these rituals to help you conquer them.

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                                Featured photo credit: RODOLFO BARRETO via unsplash.com

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