Success doesn’t happen overnight. For successful business people like Richard Branson, Arianna Huffington, Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk, they have both their personal and business routines down to a fine art so that they can be prosperous in business and still enjoy some free time.
We’ve collected quotes from some of the most successful people in the world so that you can put their good habits into practice yourself and get more out of every day.
Active body, pro-active mind
“I definitely can achieve twice as much by keeping fit. It keeps the brain functioning well.” – Richard Branson
The Virgin founder gets up at 5:00am every morning to exercise, which he claims boosts his productivity. Working out first thing has also been proven to enhance your metabolism and be more effective than a cup of coffee at promoting cognitive abilities. So set your alarm and grab your trainers!
Don’t burn the candle at both ends
“Stop burning the candle at both ends and renew your estranged relationship with sleep. You will be more productive, more effective, more creative, and more likely to enjoy your life” – Arianna Huffington
As well as founding The Huffington Post, Arianna has found success through her Thrive programme and book, which place emphasis on looking after yourself and achieving a work-life balance after she collapsed in her office suffering from exhaustion.
If you’re sleep deprived, your response and accuracy rate can be slower than someone who is under the influence of alcohol, so for a better tomorrow, make sure you get some well-earned shut eye tonight.
Don’t waste time on trivial decisions
“I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life so that I can dedicate all my energy into building the best products and services.” – Mark Zuckerberg
This is why the Facebook founder always wears a grey t-shirt and hoody, so he doesn’t have to spend time picking out clothes and can spend more time on things that matter to him. Apply this to your own life either by streamlining your wardrobe, or even by simply deciding what to wear the night before so you can just get up and go in the morning.
The two pizza rule
“Don’t waste time at unnecessary meetings – use the two pizza rule” – Jeff Bezos
The more people in a meeting, the less productive the meeting is likely to be: that’s the Amazon CEO’s rule of thumb. And it makes sense: when he needs to attend a meeting, he ensures that all the people in the room could be fed by two pizzas in order to boost productivity and usefulness.
If more than two pizzas were needed, there’s too many people in the room and it will be a drain on everyone’s time. And you could always actually order a pizza for a meeting, because, well, everyone loves pizza!
Mindful, not mind-full
“I have a mindfulness practice, and I try to practice mindfulness formally a few times a week… a meditation type practice, just being able to sit quietly and spend time trying to let go of the stress that I collect during the week running a big business.” – Marc Benioff
Mindfulness has become a popular alternative to meditation to relax, clear your brain and centre your thoughts. It has been proven not only to reduce your stress but according to a recent study, participants were able to improve their attention control after just five days of mindfulness training. There are apps such as Headspace that you can use to talk you through your own mindfulness practice.
Less emails sent = less emails received
“I decided to conduct an experiment where I wouldn’t write an email unless absolutely necessary. End result: Materially fewer emails and a far more navigable inbox. I’ve tried to stick to the same rule ever since.” – Jeff Weiner
If you want less email, send less email. The LinkedIn CEO says that when two avid email senders left his company, his inbox traffic decreased by nearly a third. He realised it was because he would not only have to respond to their original emails, but also emails from other people in the thread, with every subsequent message he sent out resulting in more landing in his inbox.
So next time you go to hit the send button, think about how many emails you’ll get back – and if you really want them.
“Focus on signal over noise. Don’t waste time on stuff that doesn’t actually make things better,” – Elon Musk
Elon Musk is the CEO and chairman of several successful companies, including Tesla, SpaceX and Neuralink, so he must relentlessly prioritise his schedule in order to get the most out of his day. He likes to focus on “signal” which to him means product development as opposed to “media or businessy things” as he puts it. Work out what is most important to you and focus on that.