5 Daily Habits of Successful People (CEO Edition)

By Tom Ottaiano, CEO, Today’s Business

If you want to be successful, you need to find a daily routine that works for you. When you’re an entrepreneur, every second of your day should be used to the fullest.

This is what a typical day in the life of Tom Ottaiano looks like.

1. Wake Up Early

3:45am: My alarm goes off

My day starts before 4am. I have a lot to accomplish within 24 hours, so I like to get started early as possible. This isn’t uncommon for someone in my position. 90% of executives wake up before 6am on weekdays according to recent studies. When you’re an early riser, it fosters a sense of motivation because there’s extra time to set yourself up for success on a day to day basis. I’m blessed to be able to wake up every morning and do what I love. 3:50am: Check emails for a few minutes

Once I’m awake, I check my emails and catch up on anything client or athlete related that I may have missed overnight. I also check out the news app on my phone and all of my social channels to see what’s trending.

2. Get Motivated

4:00am: Scan through motivational quotes and send them via text to a few people to get them motivated

Once I’m awake, I’ll scroll through any motivational quotes on Instagram that I find, and send it to a few people so they start their day with a positive message. If I’ve motivated or inspired even just one person to do something great that day, then I’ve done my job.

4:30am: Head to the gym and get in a good workout

No day begins for me unless I’ve gotten myself to the gym. It gets me in the right headspace and keeps me living an active and healthy lifestyle. Working out every day keeps your stress levels down and your motivation levels up. It also gives me time to practice positive visualization. If you don’t have a positive outlook for how your day is going to turn out, then you can’t expect to see good results.

3. Plan Out the Day

7:00am: Arrive at the office

7:05am: Start making a to-do list and check my calendar to see what meetings I have

9:00am: The team gets to the office, and the day officially begins

9:00am-5:30pm: Meetings, meetings, more meetings

5:30pm-6:00pm: Leave the office and commute an hour home

Time management is everything. You can’t manage your time effectively if you don’t plan out your day. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when they have a busy day is that they become overwhelmed, which leads to a lack of focus. Never underestimate the power of crossing things off a to-do list. It not only gives you a sense of accomplishment, but it keeps you organized and accountable. The first thing that I do before anything else is make a to-do list for that day and I don’t leave the office until I’ve finished every single task on that list.

4. Assess Long Term Goals

Get comfortable thinking long term, and it will change your life.

It’s easy to get caught up in your day to day tasks and lose sight of long term goals. It’s important to not only have a plan of action for your day, but to have one for the next month, the next six months, and the next year.

As a CEO, my skill set lies in being able to see things from a high level view and map out how company goals in the short term (day to day) are going to translate into fulfilling long term goals that foster effective YoY growth. Every single day I have long term goals in mind as I cross off short term goals. Dedicating some time to step back and assess where you’re going in the coming months and years is going to ensure success in the long run.

5. Unplug

6:30pm: Unplug from devices and stop checking emails  

Like everyone else, I am attached to my phone and I have access to everything; emails, texts and calls from clients and prospects. When you’re a business owner in an “always on” work culture, it’s hard to unplug, but it is necessary.

My times to unplug are when I’m at the gym and when I’m spending time with my family. Work-life balance is the key to staying sane when your responsibilities are demanding.

Detaching from your devices at least once a day allows you to shut out the outside noise and really focus on what it is you’re working towards.