We all have the same 24 hours in a day, so why does it seem like some accomplish more than others? How we start our morning sets the tone for the rest of our day, including our mood, productivity, and even our night’s sleep. Maintaining a healthy and consistent daily routine could help boost your productivity and help you accomplish more in a day.
Some of the most successful people have daily habits in place that contribute to their achievements and success. So how do some of the most successful CEOs and business presidents in the Philippines start their day?
Michelle Barretto finds balance in consistency
Michelle Barretto is the CEO of Vitamin B, a brand consultancy specializing in strategy, design, and experience. Their work includes constructing a new brand identity for Alveo and creating an app for Park Terrace that allows customers to view the units and floor plans from a 360-degree view.
Barretto claims that she isn’t an early riser, but she keeps her weekday mornings consistent with some quiet time over a breakfast of peanut butter spirulina oatmeal and half a cup of coffee she never finishes. “I mostly need the aroma to kickstart the morning at work,” she says.
She emphasizes the importance of consistency, especially during lockdown where everyone was forced to work from home. Keeping the same routine has helped Barretto make sense of things because “while the world suddenly changed, a lot of the bigger things in life remain the same so I’m still moving.”
Before going to bed, she writes down what she wants and needs to get done the next day. “Writing it down removes the list from my thoughts so I get a better night’s sleep.”
Everything is not just work for the 47-year-old CEO, she says that by delegating enough time at night for some relaxation and “me-time,” she’s able to get some inspiration which helps her next morning flow much easier.
Lastly, Barretto highlights the importance of planning ahead in order to find balance. “Plan your days,” she writes, “Planning helps me to be proactive versus reactive with my day by reminding me of what needs to get done more importantly, which of these are important in my life so I can find the balance.”
Cecile Ang proves that early birds do get the worm
Cecile Ang, 38 years old, is the President of Diamond Hotel, a 5-star hotel that offers luxury rooms and services against “the magnificent golden sunset of the Manila Bay.” They were awarded a Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor in 2019 and in 2020, received an 8.3 out of 10 rating from Booking.com
“I’m a morning person so I have an internal alarm clock that wakes me up around 4:30 AM regardless of what time I go to bed,” she writes. Her 5:00 AM exercise routine alternates between either an on-demand pilates reformer or a cycling class. She follows that up with breakfast while listening to new articles on Curio, an audio journalism app, or reading a book. And at 6:30 AM, while everyone is just starting to get up, Ang reviews her schedule for the day and decides what to prioritize in preparation for work.
She believes that her mornings set the tone for the rest of the day and that she is more creative and patient before noon, which is why she prefers to get everything done in the morning. “I find that I have to do everything that I consider as important in the morning or I might not get around to doing it,” she writes.
When asked what more people should do everyday to develop habits that lead to success, Ang stressed the value of connecting with people at work everyday. “I think a small dose of chit chat to know how people are doing in and out of the office gives me a better idea of how to handle people and situations more.”
Ang’s routine is consistent with a lot of successful CEOs and businessmen and women. Apple CEO Tim Cook starts his day at 4:00 AM by reading user comments on Apple products and Olympic swimmer Caroline Burckle wakes up at 5:30 AM, eats an energy bar, and gets straight to running, weight-training, or swimming.
A study conducted by Harvard Biologist Christoph Randler revealed that the earlier you rise, the more proactive you become. A proactive person is more likely to anticipate and minimize problems more efficiently and effectively knows how to handle a challenge, making them successful in the business world.
Jay Silayan keeps it simple
Jay Silayan is the President of Phoenix One Knowledge Solutions, Inc., a consulting company and a quality-focused education and training institute. Their services help professionals and organizations advance their capabilities by providing up to date technical skills and partnering with the best global institutions to keep updated on the latest trends and issues.
Prior to the pandemic, Silayan would wake up just in time for the 6:30 AM mass in his parish, followed by some breakfast at around 7:30 AM. Nowadays, he wakes up later than usual to attend the 7:00 AM online mass. He makes sure to get some exercise from either walking, biking, or yoga on YouTube. He then has breakfast with his wife at around 8:30 AM, and from 9:30 AM onwards, he’s on his computer ready to get to work.
Silayan credits his productivity to both his physical and spiritual exercise. “I think the physical exercise makes me more awake and feel more alert.. [it] certainly helps the aches that’s creeping into my creaky body,” he writes. His daily routine of prayer reinforces the value of gratefulness within him. “We cannot do everything ourselves… we need to trust that someone greater has our back.”
Silayan believes that success is determined by having a healthy and happy relationship with your family and friends. “It’s inner peace. This peace gives you strength in work whether things are good or bad.” He believes everyone should practice having some more “quiet time,” especially in a world where one can easily drown in the noise of social media and can be influenced by it in the wrong way.
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Visual by: Chloe Gaw