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For hard-driving CEOs, start of the day is what matters.

Summary: Be it waking up early or putting in those hours for workouts, they all add up

Sameh Al Khatib Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Whatever be their business acumen, CEOs still need to have a certain perseverance to maintain the same level of intensity in the role, day in and day out. This person isn't just the public face of the company, but oversees all major decisions, delegates operations and generally be accountable for each facet of the business.

To achieve that level of intense consistency, whether at a small business or a large corporation, it's not just what the CEO does at the office that matters. It's how they have tweaked their personal lives to effectively complement their careers.

The morning routine

"Waking up on the wrong side of the bed" can influence how the rest of your day takes shape -- it's one home truth that can never go out of style. High-level executives never risk waking up in an inefficient state of being.

Many of them spent years tweaking their morning routines to become effortless over time. Waking up early can be one of the most difficult parts of going to work, but for these CEOs rising with or before the sun is an important ingredient in their success. What most CEOs don't do is roll over, hit the alarm and say, "I'll just sleep a little more".

They get up early and hit the ground running. "I wake up at 6.30am," said Sacha Christe, CEO of Emirates Graphic.

"6.30am" was the most common theme that CEOs suggested as their take-off moment for the day. Waking up early is productive, because there are no distractions.

"It can give you the feeling of having more control over your life," Sameh Al Khatib, CEO of SmartWatt, said. Many CEOs said they like to get straight down to business as soon as they open their eyes.

"The first thing I do is check my emails and messages," said Anna Skigin, CEO of Frank Porter, an Airbnb management service in Dubai. "After that, I catch up on news. I then go through upcoming bookings and deal with anything urgent needing my attention."

Another very popular first-thing-in-the-day activity was exercising. "I jump out of bed and start my day with a morning bike ride followed by a run," said Serge Lopez, CEO of Pangolin Group and owner of Sanderson's cafe in Abu Dhabi.

Sometimes, mornings are the only time not accounted for that CEOs have to work out. "I really try to not miss my morning training," Kareem Fahmy, CEO of Innovate Living told Gulf News, "because my daily schedule is quite unpredictable."

Then it's time to get ready for work. CEOs don't stand in front of their closets, wondering what they're going to wear. They have uniforms.

"I have simplified my working life by adopting a uniform," said Maximilian Busser, CEO of MB&F. "I wear dark jeans, a white T-shirt or shirt, and Onitsuka Tiger sneakers." (Well, not every CEO can carry off that particular attire.)

On the other side of the spectrum, Ma Guolong, CEO of Oriental Pearls, said his work attire is an extension of his personality, "I am always dressed smartly and comfortably. You will usually find me in a three-piece suit."

Then it's time to fuel for the day ahead. "For breakfast, I enjoy a cup of oats with coconut almond milk, four egg whites with smoked salmon, a couple of olives, handful of greens and one orange. I take breakfast very seriously," said Alex Dubaldo, CEO of home-grown pizza brand 800Pizza.

Others adopt a more fast approach to breakfast -- "I start my morning with a double espresso. I'm not a breakfast person," said Dany Naaman, CEO of Havas M. E.

The morning commute can be used to unwind, "I drop my kids off at school. Then I jam in my car to some music," said Mustafa Koita CEO of Koita Milk.

"I use my commute to make important phone calls," said Samer Hamadeh Founder of Aegis Hospitality.

Everyone has their morning rituals, but one trait that CEO have is scale up on the consistency and efficiency.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:7UNIT
Date:Jan 31, 2019
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