Time Management Tips From Successful People

It seems that there’s always a lot to learn from people that have achieved the kind of success you may be looking for yourself. Those that have walked the path you want to follow have clearly done something right. Right?

And regardless of the industry or fields they are in, it’s safe to say that they would never have achieved their success without managing their time well.

So, here’s some inspiration and a few ideas from five well-known people I’ve picked out as successful that have something valuable to say about how they manage their time.

Richard Branson

The Virgin Group founder is well-known for being quite adventurous and unpredictable, but an important way in which he manages his time is to maintain a structured morning and nightly routine.

He says in his blog:

“I find structure to start and finish the days helps me focus, and achieve things I need to.”
[Source: Richard Branson’s blog]

Part of his morning routine involves exercise, which he believes is another element important in maintaining productivity. He says that exercise “keeps the brain functioning well” and that he can “achieve twice as much in a day by keeping fit.” [Source: YouTube]

Check out this post: Tips For A Great Morning Routine >>>

Elon Musk

The CEO of Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity and the Boring Company, it’s probably fair to say that Elon Musk is quite a busy guy.

In order to maximize his productivity across these businesses, he needs to manage his time super-efficiently.

How does he do that?

Well, it seems he is a big advocate of the time blocking method and actually breaks his day down into five-minute slots.

This is a pretty extreme approach and I am not sure many people can work in that way.

In addition to working 80 to 100-hour weeks, Musk seems to thrive on multi-tasking and sees it as a crucial part of his work strategy. However, he appears to be an exception to the rule, as many studies show multi-tasking to be a sub-optimal way of working.

[Source: Business Insider]

More about time blocking in this post.

Warren Buffett

According to the so-called Oracle of Omaha, it is crucial to manage your time, because it’s the only thing you can’t buy.

However, Buffett is unusual in the fact that he purposely keeps as much of his time as open as possible, which creates time for him to think and read.

In a joint interview with Bill Gates on Charlie Rose’s show in 2017, Gates recalls some of the important lessons he has learnt from his good friend, Warren Buffett, and one of them was in relation to the way he handles his time and his schedule.

Gates recalls:

“I [also] remember Warren showing me his calendar and I had every minute packed and I thought that was the only way you could do things. The fact that he is so careful about his time . . .

He has days that there’s nothing on. [That taught me] that you control your time and that sitting and thinking may be a much higher priority than a normal CEO, who, you know . . . there’s all this demand and you feel like you need to go and see all these people.

It’s not a proxy of your seriousness that you’ve filled every minute in your schedule.”

Bill Gates talking about Warren Buffett on the Charlie Rose show in 2017

[Source: The Charlie Rose Show]

Reading into this a little more and perhaps combining it with other comments I have heard made by Buffett, he is able to use so much of his time for thinking and reading because of his philosophy of saying ‘no’ to people and opportunities that don’t directly benefit his personal or professional life.

This is one man who really knows how and where to not only invest his money, but also his time.

Check out this post: How To Say ‘No’ >>>

Jack Dorsey

Jack Dorsey, Founder of Twitter and CEO of Square, has to juggle working at two companies and has publicly cited a number of strategies he uses to manage his time and optimize his productivity.

The most interesting one to me is his use of what he terms as “themed days”.

In practical terms, theming his days is like an extreme version of time blocking and batching similar tasks together.

Dorsey explained an example of his schedule in an interview as follows:

Mondays – management and the running of the companies
Tuesdays – focused on product
Wednesdays – marketing and communication
Thursdays – developers and partnerships
Fridays – company culture and recruitment
Saturdays – rest and hiking
Sundays – reflection, feedback, strategy and preparing for the following week.

Dorsey says that there are always interruptions he needs to deal with, but this method of managing his time enables him to quickly re-focus on the tasks relevant to the theme of the day.

[Source: YouTube]

Gary Vaynerchuk

If you’re on any type of social media platform at all, you’ll know Gary Vaynerchuk, aka Gary Vee.

He’s freakin’ everywhere.

If you’ve never heard of him before, I’m sure the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon will kick in for you pretty soon.

You’re welcome.

Or perhaps you’re gonna hate me now . . . 😉

But anyway, I think Mr V. could be regarded as a pretty successful guy and I found this short video clip in which he is very candid about the fact he is not great at the time management side of things, so the best tip he can offer is to employ another human being to look after it for you.

Of course, not many of us are necessarily in the position to hire people to look after our schedule, but hey, I’m trying to give you some variety here.

Source: YouTube.

Time Hack Hero Takeaway

If you want to be successful in whatever you’re doing, you’re going to need to be able to manage your time effectively. While I am not always convinced that what has worked for one successful person will necessarily work for you (see this post), it does at least provide us with some food for thought as we attempt to get a grip on our own schedules and daily commitments.

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For some further reading on how successful people manage their time, check out this book: 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management: The Productivity Habits of 7 Billionaires, 13 Olympic Athletes, 29 Straight-A Students, and 239 Entrepreneurs, by Kevin Kruse.

And before you go . . .

Do you want to improve your time management but you’re not sure where to start?

Start here with the 5-Day Hack-A-Day Challenge!

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