Leo Varadkar said he wanted to lead a party for 'people who get up early in the morning'. He might have offended quite a few people by saying this but he got my vote.
I recently read that the most successful entrepreneurs get more done by 8am than most people do all day. Intrigued by that I did a bit of research and I have learnt that early risers are more proactive than night owls. They’re also more agreeable, productive and conscientious, compared to people who sleep in.
Waking up earlier allows you to start the day with a victory. Your willpower is at its absolute best first thing in the morning, so it’s the perfect time to fit in some exercise. This will stimulate the flow of endorphins for a clear and healthy mind. You could also try a 30 second cold shower. (I promise you, it wakes you up and you’re less likely to need all that caffeine...)
Other benefits to waking up earlier include quiet surroundings and having time to eat a good breakfast, perhaps while reading the news as supposed to just glancing at the headlines. This will set you up for the day so by the time you’re ready to start working, you’re full of energy, and as it’s still early(!) you can get started on your most important task of the day, before all the usual distractions start...
If the thought of waking up at sunrise is just too much, have a think about how you spend your evenings. If you’re as productive after dinner time as you’re in the morning, you’re lucky. If not, well then have a think about what you could do if you had one extra hour every morning. You’d need to envision something positive. Something just for you, that you will enjoy and look forward to. This good reason to get out of bed will help you set the alarm for earlier and it will help you get up.
How to go about it
If you’re keen to try this out you will need to pick your ideal wake-up time and you need to work towards that time, gradually, to avoid shocking your system.
Build your habit 15 minutes at a time. If you normally get up at 7:30am you must set your alarm for 7:15am. Do this for two days. For the following two days, set it for another 15 minutes earlier than normal. You need to do this every day of the week, including weekends. You can not have any sleep-ins until you are completely ‘re-programmed’.
As you get up earlier and earlier, you need to go to bed earlier and earlier. The goal isn’t to need less sleep, the goal is to wake up earlier, to reap all those benefits I listed above. And more.
Leo probably agrees with Benjamin Franklin:
“Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
I have only just got started, but I think I will too.
What is benchmarking
‘Continuous process of comparing a firm's practices and performance measures with that of its most successful competitor(s)’.
Why do it?
You have to know how you rate compared with your peers, to know where you need to improve relative to them. If you want to be "best-in-breed" in marketing, or just to "do better" you need a baseline to review the marketing effectiveness of competitors.
Online, potential customers will often directly compare what a competing brand or website has to offer. Benchmarking "puts you in the customers shoes" and gives you insight on where you need to improve. It can also give you inspiration to try new approaches whether they're related to content, design or the brand communications used.
So when should I benchmark?
Ideally you should be benchmarking at least every 6 months or so as it will allow you to keep up to speed with what your competitors are doing and how your competitors' marketing changes. It's also an essential part of developing a marketing strategy where you need to look at all aspects of your marketing communications especially SEO, content and social media.
5 great free online marketing tools
We know you will already be reviewing competitor sites, but at times we see there are some key issues that are often missed and you may also be missing some of the great free tools available to help you.
5 main pitfalls to avoid when benchmarking
Warning and recommendation
Be careful not to get too worried about your competition, of course it's important, yet not all of your answers will lie within your competitors - we think that looking outside of your market can be just as beneficial for driving ideas and innovation - a source of inspiration for asking new questions.
Thank you for checking out this blog.