For most entrepreneurs, one of the greatest daily challenges is time management. Not only do busy entrepreneurs struggle with effectively managing their time in order to complete their never-ending to-do lists each day, but they also struggle with prioritizing their time to focus on the tasks that will produce the greatest value and returns for their company. An entrepreneur's daily habits, routines and systems can (and usually do) make or break their success. Always curious to learn about the success habits of other entrepreneurs, today I sat down with my good friend Timothy Sykes, the millionaire stock trader, teacher and serial entrepreneur, and asked him to share with my readers his own daily habits for success and peak performance.
RL: Tim, do you have any specific systems that you use to manage your time?
TS: Ever since CNN featured me for creating my second millionaire student, the demands on my time have doubled. One of the most important things I do each day is getting up early and putting in an hour and a half of work before I do anything else. I go through all of the overnight emails I received to get those out of the day and then I plan what the rest of my day will look like. I plan the most important priorities that I need to focus on that day and create a schedule to make sure the most important tasks get done. This gives me a big advantage in making sure the rest of my day stays on track and is consistent with my long term goals.
RL: How do you manage to pack so many activities into a day?
TS: The most important thing is to prioritize what needs to be done. It's not an exact science. It depends upon your goals and which projects are urgent. Sometimes a short term project may be a high priority and sometimes a long term project may be a high priority. You also need to ask if you should be doing a certain task or if there is someone who can do it better than you. Being able to effectively delegate as many tasks as possible is critical to success. It's important to recognize your weaknesses and delegate whenever possible.
RL: Do you use productivity apps on your phone?
TS: I'm not a big mobile user when it comes to running my business. I don't work on my phone as much as other people do; the majority of my heavy work is done on a desktop. I don't even check email as much when I am out.
RL: How do you keep your productivity and energy up during a hectic, draining day?
TS: For me it's all about ambition and passion. I love my job and that keeps me going everyday. I don't drink coffee and I don't drink Red Bull. I have a clear vision of where I want to be a few years from now and I think about my goals as soon as I wake up every morning. That passion for what I do is what keeps me going.
RL: Do you ever struggle with work-life balance?
TS: Work-life balance has definitely been a struggle for me at times. I'm a workaholic and I love my job. How to balance your life depends which industry you are in. For me, the stock market tends to be hotter during the winter months and I get more down time during the summer months. I also travel a lot so that's a balance too. I will have periods when I am working non-stop and then periods when I am traveling and taking it easy.
RL: What does a typical day in the life of Tim Sykes look like?
TS: Wake up at 7am and do research on potential stock plays until 8:30am. Write my watchlist between 8:30-9am for students, trade stocks from 9-noon, grab some lunch, go for a mid-day run or a mid-day ride in the Lamborghini around 12-1:30pm. Then research more stocks from 1:30-3pm and make some more trades 3-4pm EST.
After the market close I catch up on emails, do press interviews, write blog posts, make video lessons and once/week I give my Challenge students a 2-hour Q&A webinar. 6-9pm I spend time with my girlfriend and puppy watching TV or going out to dinner. Then my girlfriend and I usually go out to the movies or spend time with our family or sight-see whatever exotic city we're in. Midnight bedtime and we do it all over again the next day!
RL: What would be your most important tips about success for other entrepreneurs?
TS: Acknowledge your weaknesses and delegate. Your time and energy are limited and as an entrepreneur, you cannot be a jack of all trades. Delegate as much as you can.