Phillip Stutts

Whether they’re for your physical condition, emotional outlook, or level of productivity, the things you repeatedly do every day define your quality of life. Here are the daily habits several executives credit for the success they have achieved.

11. Schedule your day around when your brain is firing on all cylinders.
“When is your brain on fire? Three years ago, a mentor asked me that question and gave me life-changing advice: Schedule your day around when your brain is firing on all cylinders and hold off on brainless work until it is fatigued. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made in my business. For years, I ran a one-man political and corporate marketing firm (me!). I typically slept late (8 a.m.) and started off my day by doing mundane tasks that I liked but didn’t move the ball forward. Once I answered the question, ‘When is your brain on fire?’ I rearranged my entire schedule to accommodate it, and the results have been explosive. I now wake up at 4:30 a.m. and arrive in my office by 7 a.m. From 7 to 11 a.m., I’m in prime critical-thinking mode. It’s when my brain works best. I write, study, work on problems, and read (and my schedule is blocked off so I have minimal distractions). After 11 a.m.? I respond to email, I call people back, and I convene the important but tedious conference calls we all have to do. My mornings are my time to think, and that time is non-negotiable. I take ideas, problems, and passions and I spend time working through them, because that is when my brain needs to be proactive and thinking. The result of that one small shift? In less than three years, we’ve added 19 employees and I grew my company 500 percent. When is your brain on fire?”

–Phillip Stutts, CEO of Go Big Media and author of Fire Them Now: The 7 Lies Digital Marketers Sell and the Truth About Political Strategies That Help Businesses Win, who has contributed to more than 1,000 election victories of senators, governors, representatives, and two U.S. presidents

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by Christina DesMarais