Jim Citrin at Yahoo! Finance set out to study the daily routine of 20 CEOs. Surprisingly, he received responses to his survey from 17 of the 20 CEOs polled. Jim’s questions were focused around their daily routines. There was overwhelming similarity between the daily routines of all the CEOs. The following are the most interesting to me:
This is the part of your morning routine over which you have the greatest control. To fit it all in, it’s a must to start early. The latest any of the surveyed executives wake up is 6 a.m., and almost 80 percent wake up at 5:30 or earlier.
The early-bird-gets-the-worm award goes to Padmasree Warrior, chief technology officer for Motorola, who rises at 4:30 a.m., spends an hour on email, reads most of the news online, and then does an hour of either cardio or resistance training each morning. This allows her to get her son ready for school and drop him off, and still get to work by 8 or 8:30 in the morning.
Exercise every morning.
It’s often difficult to find a way to fit exercise into your busy schedule, but knowing that some of the most successful businesspeople do so might motivate you to find a way to work it into your routine.
More than 70 percent of the business leaders in my survey perform their exercise in the morning, while 15 percent find a way to do it during the day (one does it late at night before turning in). Only two of the executives admit to not exercising on a regular basis, although one said, “I know I should.”
The individual who demonstrates the greatest exercise discipline is the CEO of a high-performing global technology company (I promised him anonymity so as not to blow his cover). “I exercise at lunchtime,” he says. “I block the time every single day. This is because I’m a runner and that’s the best time to run outside all year long.”
Make family time.
Many business leaders find that the morning encourages important family time. Some have breakfast with their families or make taking kids to school a central part of the morning routine.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice managing partner Kevin Conway lingers at home when he can to help send off all three kids to school. Greg Maffei, CEO of Liberty Media Corporation, says, “I try to talk one of my kids into going outside to get the paper, but end up getting it myself. I then have breakfast with my wife and kids, help the latter get dressed, and drive the older boys to the bus stop at 7:40 a.m.”