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How New Technology is Changing the Role of an External CFO

New technology is changing the province of CFOs from custodians of the past to navigators of the future. Instead of confining their expertise to producing balance sheets and regulatory documents, external CFOs are tapping new revenue sources and fueling fresh .....

Business - 4 min read

You have a morning routine, and so does Elon Musk (he wakes at 7 am, handles “critical emails” first thing, and drinks coffee but skips breakfast). Do you ever wonder if you could improve your life and business success by merely changing the little things?

If you’re dissatisfied with how you start your day, consider adopting the habits of one of these influential entrepreneurs. After all, a strong start often leads to a successful day. Could one of these tips improve your productivity?

 

Start a Bit Earlier

A few extra minutes at the start of your day could lead to significant gains later on. Richard Branson, head of a conglomerate of businesses including Virgin Records and Virgin Air, gets up early.

In a company blog post, Branson told employees that he rises at 5 am every day, no matter where he is. He wants a head start on the world, and most of us are still dreaming while he sets a productive pace.

When you wake up early, you have time to yourself before other people demand your attention. You can prepare for the coming day and feel an irresistible sense of control and well-being before the day throws surprises your way.

 

Begin with Positivity

It’s tempting to reach for your phone to scroll through Twitter or Facebook first thing in the morning, but clickbait news may not lead to a positive start. 

David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, says he used to check his email first thing in the morning. Unfortunately, many of these emails addressed problems. Instead of starting his day feeling burdened by complications and obstacles, he decided to fill his mind with proactive, positive thoughts.

Now he reads something motivating before he even gets out of bed. You too can give your mind something positive to focus on. Those uplifting vibes might ripple through your day, carrying you through the challenges you face.

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Exercise Your Body and Mind

A body in motion stays in motion, so if you want to keep going throughout the day, work out in the morning. 

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, begins his day with an hour on the treadmill while he watches the courses from The Teaching Company. His multi-tasking invigorates both body and brain.

And here’s an added benefit to exercising in the morning. A 2018 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that cardio exercise prompted healthier eating in the students that participated. By working out early in the day, you’re more likely to choose more nutritious foods all day long.

 

Keep It Simple

Entrepreneurs make so many decisions each day. You can make your mornings more comfortable by making them as decision-free as possible.

That’s what Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, tries to do. He even wears the same style of shirt (a grey tee) every day, so he has one less decision to make.

While you may not want to wear the same outfit every day, you can probably minimise decisions in the morning. Try one or more of these suggestions:

  • Eat the same breakfast each morning.
  • Lay out your clothes the night before.
  • Declutter your bathroom counter, so you only see the items you need.
  • Wait until you’ve showered, dressed and groomed before turning on your phone.
  • Pack your lunch at dinnertime.
  • Store your wallet (or handbag) and keys in the same place all the time.
  • Create a weather-ready station in your hallway (umbrella etc.)

 

Meditate for a Clear Mind

By starting your day with a clutter-free mind, you can efficiently prioritise your to-do list. But how do you get rid of the clutter? Try meditation.

Oprah Winfrey and Ariana Huffington both meditate in the early morning. If you’ve never tried this practice before, you may feel intimidated by it. Meditating is more straightforward than it sounds, however. Just follow these steps:

  • Get into a comfortable pose (lie on the floor or sit in a comfortable chair).
  • Turn on meditation music or a playlist.
  • Set a timer, so you don’t worry about taking too much time.
  • Breathe in and out, slowly and deeply.
  • Focus on your breath, be present, and tune out distractions.
  • Bring your attention back to the present and your breathing if your mind wanders.

That’s all there is to it. With a clear mind, you’ll feel centred and ready to go into entrepreneur beast mode.

You have good ideas and motivation aplenty. Make the most of your energy by starting your days strong. And when you need assistance with accounting and compliance, taxation, or any or business issue, reach out to us at Altus. We’re here to help you succeed!

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