Quality Time Management - Effective Daily Schedule

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How disciplined are you about your early-morning routine?

If you want to maximize your success while achieving the best possible balance in your life, you may want to take a fresh look at what time you wake up and what you do with your time before getting to the office.

A Wakeup Call

Last week, I contacted some of the business leaders I greatly admire and inquired about their early-morning schedules.

Specifically, I asked 20 CEOs and top executives what time they wake up, when they have their first cup of coffee, when they start on email, what if anything they do for exercise, what time they leave for the office, and what else they do before walking out the door.

I heard back from half a dozen of them within 10 minutes, and, in a matter of a few hours, I received answers from a total of 17 out of the 20 -- a response rate that would be the envy of any market researcher.

It didn't take long for the patterns to emerge. Based on an analysis of the executives' schedules and activities, I discovered seven practices you should seriously consider adopting in order to make the most of your morning.

Start early.
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.

Get a jump on email.
If you think you're alone in feeling overwhelmed by email, take comfort: even top CEOs and the most senior executives feel compelled to stay on top of their email, and most of them find time in the early morning...
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