Mark Tibergien is CEO of Pershing Advisor Solutions, one of the largest custodians for independent advisors and family offices. Here he shares how he prepares for a typical day and what activities tend to bog down his schedule.

The beginning of the day is my favorite—my mind is clear and my expectations are high.  This is when I have the most energy and when I'm most awake from a night of sleeping on issues or puzzles that I’m trying to solve. My day typically begins at 5:45 a.m., when I arise, and tends to end around 10:30 p.m.  But this all depends. Because I travel a lot, my body clock is not always willing to cooperate.

Aside from my quotidian routine to prepare to go out in public, the first things I reach for each morning (in order) are coffee, breakfast and my iPad—the latter so that I can do a quick scan of Twitter to get a sense of what’s hot or interesting; and a review of the headlines of the New York Times. In both cases, I flag the issues that I want to read more about and go back to them.

Eating breakfast daily is a useful habit that I’ve developed and couldn’t survive without. Early in my life, I’d try to get by on a cup of coffee but found that to only increase my heart rate not my alertness. Now breakfast fuels my day, gives me contentment, provides me the energy to do what I have to do.

To ensure a productive workday, I make notes on the day’s schedule, which my assistant provides me first thing every day to keep me focused. I find it helpful when I’m ready to think about work—either in the office or in my hotel room—to plot out what I need to accomplish before I wrap up, and what expectations I should have from every meeting I’m going into. 

These meetings take up a majority of my day. Regrettably, this is all consuming and not always productive.  I find myself becoming more impatient with meeting chairs who don’t create an agenda or manage to it, and who allow for meandering conversations.  Other than that, most of my time is engaged with clients, prospects and staff on a variety of issues.  Paperwork and processing is usually deferred to the end of the day.

Once the day's work is done (and I get out of the subway), I have a healthy walk home which allows me to begin to unwind.  When I’m traveling, I also try to take a walk before dinner to accomplish the same thing.  Once settled in at home or hotel, I like to do a quick round of Words with Friends to detach from everyday life – I have about 30 games going on at once with multiple friends from around the country. It’s a fun way to connect and play without a worry in the world.

 

- As told to Megan Leonhardt.