Whether it’s back-to-back meetings, traveling for business meals, or strategizing for hours, the to-do list of a CEO is never-ending. Yet, the rule of only 24 hours per day applies to them too. So, how do they accomplish so much within the same confines? Well, it’s not something anyone can get used to.
While most CEOs get up around the usual 8 am, many well-known names like Tim Cook, the man behind Apple, start their day much sooner. For them, waking up even as early as 3:45 am is not out of the ordinary. Thus, they make a habit of making the most of their sleeping hours.
Plus, since they have hundreds of tasks to perform once that alarm sounds off, they know how to get up to speed pronto. Later, their busy schedule leaves them drained at the end of the workday. That means once they go to bed, they are certainly beyond tired.
However, this tactic might not be the best fit for everyone. Certainly, not every CEO has the same monthly income, even if they too follow a rigid sleep-wake cycle. If that’s the case, then changing the tempo might freshen things up. Also, there are ways for one to feel rested, even when sleeping like a CEO.
One way of doing that is ensuring that you have a comfortable sleeping environment. Things like the right mattress and perfectly dim lights can act as efficient sleep-inducers. In turn, you’ll feel energetic and in a good mood even after only five-six hours.
Alex Savy, the Founder of Sleepingocean.com says: “People often summarize that a good night’s sleep is one that lasts for at least eight hours. However, that is not always the case. The quality of rest is a much more important factor. For instance, you’ll feel better after sleeping in the correct position for a few hours, than after spending ten hours curled up on one side. Also, the type of mattress should follow the lines of your body, accommodating the spine and back muscles comfortably.”
What Does a Day in the Life of a CEO Look Like?
Generally, most CEOs wake up around 6 am. Then, they use their morning rituals to focus on the myriad of tasks at hand. They produce a mental map, carefully evaluating the most pressing matters. As a result of this planning ahead, they can swiftly shift from one object to the next. In other words, they set a productive pace even in the morning, and they never let it slip during office hours.
During that fleeting morning silence, most CEOs like to exercise a bit or read the paper while having breakfast. According to a survey, 72% of an average CEO’s day is spent in meetings, while 28% is spent alone. This alone time could be anything from planning the following proposal to strategizing their way out of a hurdle.
How Many Hours Do the Average CEOs Sleep
On average, a CEO clocks a whopping 62.5 hours per week. However, some of them spend even more than 100 hours, leaving very little time for sleeping. Plus, CEOs often bring their work back home, which keeps them busy at night. All this contributes to the tendency to cut on sleeping hours for the good of the company.
Another survey showed that only 16% of the participants get around eight hours of sleep. Looking at the habits of some of the “CEO-superstars” of the world, we have to agree with the study. For instance, Neil Armstrong, the CEO of AOL, sleeps about five hours a day, while Elon Musk averages six hours of sleep. Yet, they’re all well-rested compared to CEOs like Marissa Mayer, who sleep for only four hours at night.
Given these habits of successful CEOS, it’s safe to summarize that they value intense focus above all else. They revel in the opportunity to stay productive, no matter what they do. Hence, the constant lack of sleep is a part of their routine. In time, they’ve developed ways to lessen its effectiveness, often by way of some relaxing hobby.
Also, many CEOs resort to taking quick day-naps, refreshing their minds before the next challenge. So, they live a real “entrepreneur life”, only with much more ups than downs.
Why Is Good Sleep Important?
Whether you are a successful businessman or a student learning the ropes, good sleep is the basis of a productive day. That’s why you shouldn’t cut down on sleeping hours just because “everyone does”. After all, you should remain healthy to perform well.
When you don’t get the recommended amount of sleep, your body will suffer from it. The mind becomes less alert, and you might fail to notice even the simpler details. Not just that, but your memorizing skills will also drop. This setback can only slow down your usual pace, and with that, result in an unproductive workday.
CEOs know of this pitfall, and yet they manage to stay ahead of the curve. To do that, they struck a balance between overworking and resting their bodies, finding effective ways to do both those things. As a necessity, they first get to know themselves well, in a way even tricking to stay sharp much longer than usual.
If you can’t get enough sleep time, you need to hack your way to developing useful habits. You can start by taking small naps throughout the day whenever you get the chance. Another option is to take the weekends off.
This will give you some time to relax and collect your losses before the next round. A habit of exercising a few times a week is another good idea. Apart from this, taking a warm bath and meditating before going to bed will help you fall asleep faster.
Being a successful CEO is no walk in the park, as many can attest to. It’s a position that offers great career advancements and profit, but not without a price. This “give and take” aspect turns this job into a tough balancing act.
That’s not to say that only a handful of people in the world can rise up to the challenge, though. As with all seemingly insurmountable tasks, grit and dedication are the way to go.