December 9, 2004

Excerpts: Herb's Hints - Part IX

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:23 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

7: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm
Most of the successful people I know are already awake at six a.m.Not all, but most. Say what you will, but getting up early has been proven in studies to be a basic characteristic found in successful people. I dont want to get nasty letters from all of you who dont get up until ten and still have thriving, profitable businesses, so Ill add that there are exceptions to every rule.
My own rule, however, is to get up in the dark and go home in the dark. While everyone else is still sleeping I find I can get a lot done, because once the office and the world come alive, your time is taken up with meetings and interruptions. Before normal hours is my best work time. When regular starting hours come around, thats my people time. I want to give as much time as I can to employees and outside meetings, and to do that I need to be in as early as possible to get the other things done.
Im in the office at five a.m., Arizona time, and Ill take that time to watch the opening of the market, organize, and catch up on emails so that Ive got answers by eight in the morning. I putter around and clear my head, and as it gets later Ill walk through the building and find people to talk to. I have breakfast every morning with our chief financial officer and our special assistant to the CEO, and we talk about important issues for the day. Ive got a routine, but it always starts early. I believe that the early bird gets the worm. Live your business life by the clock and youll be far more productive.
These seven principles have never let me down. Theyve been a road map that Ive followed consistently.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.