Let’s take a look at some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs day to day routines. By implementing some of these tips into your daily routine, you can become more productive too.
The four people I want to draw on are Steve Jobs (Apple co-founder), Elon Musk (Tesla, PayPal, SpaceX, Solar City), Sir Richard Branson (Virgin), and Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder and world’s richest person). There are many surprising similarities that these four highly productive people will do in their daily routines that we can learn from.
Let’s dive into 8 key areas that these highly productive people have common in their routines and break it down so you can implement into your daily routine to achieve success!
Your Morning Routine
How you start your day will set up the vibe for the rest of your day, so let’s start off right!
Wake up just 30 minutes before you ‘need’ to. Having an early start to the day gives you time to get on top of things and set up your day efficiently.
Get a kick-start to the day by doing some exercise and never skipping breakfast. Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson both start off their days with a healthy breakfast and a workout. If you find you have a hard time getting motivated to go to the gym after a long day at work this is a great solution. Also, will release endorphins which will give you a significant mood boost for the day ahead.
The next thing Branson does as part of his morning routine checks emails and a social media sweep. This gets him ahead of the game for the day to avoid loss of productivity.
If all else fails, get motivated like Steve Jobs, as a part of his morning routine he would ask himself a question, “If today was the last day of my life, would I be happy with what I am about to do today?”. If he answered ‘no’ too many days in a row he would find out what needed to be changed.
Manage Your Time
Time management is the best way to avoid procrastination and get stuff done!
One of the best ways to manage your time is to plan out your day with a list. This is setting up your goals for the day and it also becomes very fulfilling each time you get to cross off something off your list.
Keep track of how you structure your time. If you need to schedule a meeting, don’t schedule an hour block if you know 30 minutes will be sufficient. No procrastination for highly motivated people!
Daily goals are just long-term goals broken down. So how do you set up your list of daily goals? Let’s take a page from Bezos’ Amazon book (pun intended); work out what you want as a result to a task and work backwards.
Bezos brought further success to the Amazon brand by focusing on the customer first and what their needs were (end goal). He developed the skills needed to meet those needs (working backwards) and then used those skills to anticipate the future needs of a customer (success!).
Similarly, Jobs would always break down actions from a bigger picture goal to make it more achievable to work through. By breaking down a big task, it lays out what you need to do each step of the way. This method applied to a more prominent daily task will set up your day productively, ultimately maximising success.
The best prioritising tip I received years ago was to use the Eisenhower Matrix. The idea of the matrix is that all tasks can be separated into four sections (shown below). The numbers are the order in which you should complete the tasks.
Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, said: “What is important is seldom urgent and what is urgent is seldom important”.
Jobs was known to do a method like this. A form of only focusing on what matters and prioritising ruthlessly. To quote Jobs “deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”
Job’s also would say how important it is to know when to delegate and when to ask for help (section 3 of the Matrix). Lastly, go for quality over quantity, every time..
To Multitask, or Not to Multitask
Multitasking is a great way to avoid being overwhelmed by having a lot to do and increase productivity, yet there are some circumstances where you should stay focused on one sole activity.
Some suggestions of smart multitasking that won’t get in the way of producing quality work and will increase efficiency is to check your emails on the go. Simple! Send quick replies where possible and schedule in appointments between other tasks or meetings.
Branson suggests having meetings scheduled over lunchtime as a productive multitasking technique. This trick will keep the mood of a meeting light and helps if you’re pressed for time.
On the flip side to this, know when not to multitask.
When a task is critical make sure you maintain your focus. Sometimes this requires strict attention to detail, making sure that you stay engaged and block out other distractions. When it came to distractions, Job’s was very strict about filtering them out and would not tolerate any interference when needing to focus on an important task.
It’s vital to know when you need to focus solely on one task and when you can be open to multitasking.
Stay Engaged and Connected
You may not be at a set location throughout your day, this is very common these days with flexible workplaces! Whether it be travelling to and from meetings or working from home, the need to keep being productive doesn’t stop.
Branson says it’s essential to stay constantly connected and engaged. He spends 6 months of the year living on Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands – I mean, who wouldn't given the chance! However, for this billionaire entrepreneur is needed to be accessible online in multiple time zones to continue being productive. Luckily, Branson can stay connected remotely and continue succeeding showing us the importance of technology when wanting to stay productive in the modern workplace.
Whether that is at home, at a cafe or on your private tropical island staying engaged is about always being ready. Another hot top from Branson is carrying around a notebook to write things down on the spot. Noting down ideas as soon as they develop in your head means you won’t skip a beat! You don’t have to have a hard copy notebook for this either, you could a phone, iPad or one of the many other devices we can’t live without!
Within a productive day make sure you create time for breaks in your daily routine, none of us can run on overdrive all of the time. Having moments of rest planned in your day allows you to run at peak productivity.
Job’s daily routine would consist of having a morning of product review meetings, then he would try to spend his afternoons taking a break and ‘clearing his mind’. Clearing your mind could merely be to take a walk, engage in a conversation away from your set tasks, meditate, or just make yourself a coffee.
How about a lunch or a coffee break with a colleague, it might even lead to more than you thought. As Branson has said about sharing a meal with people, “stories are shared and ideas are born”.
Be Open to Innovation and Learning
Mistakes happen, never expect to know all the answers or you will never grow. Elon Musk says, “expect to lose”. This mentality means you’ll always be open to being better and more innovative.
A way to look at being innovative is about making a hard task produce a better-quality result by finding an easier way to complete it. Musk does not just accept any idea or practices for what they are. He considers everything as negotiable, and this has made him very successful in creating multiple billion-dollar companies. For arguably one of the most successful people alive, it’s advice worth taking on.
Always be open to learning something new every day. Learning leads to growth and success. Any situation can be an opportunity to learn if you take it seriously. Bezos, pre-Amazon, started by working for McDonald's as a teenager and learnt essential life skills like time management, setting goals and not taking shortcuts to get a result.
Do not let other worries get in your head about failing and focus on the task at hand getting accomplished. To quote Jobs, “Let’s go invent tomorrow instead of wondering about what happened yesterday”. When looking back on your life, it’s about what you didn’t do that you will regret, not what you did and messed up according to Bezos.
Ready for Success?
It’s interesting to see the commonalities between some of the most successful highly productive entrepreneurs; Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Sir Richard Branson, and Jeff Bezos.
Implement these simple changes into your daily routine and see if this affects your productivity and success.
Let us know if this works for you and what some of your productive routine hacks are?
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