Millionaires are master schedulers. When most of us think of scheduling our day, the number one consideration to account for is time. There are 24 hours in the day and at least a third of that time needs to be reserved for personal pursuits – such as sleeping and eating!
Millionaires aren’t privy to some kind of secret sauce that leads them to success. They simply schedule the various parts of their day better than the rest. They know what to prioritize, and how to rank the various personal and professional items on their to-do list in order of importance better than most low and middle-income folks do.
Here’s 7 bits of great advice the majority of entrepreneurs who’ve ascended to their own version of greatness have used to get there:
1. Rise before the sun
The typical millionaire, who wasn’t born with a silver spoon in their mouth, wakes up between 4 and 5 in the morning and starts their routine shortly thereafter. Eric Thomas likes to beat the 4am rush and get up for 3:00! He does this most every day, but occasionally life throws him curveballs.
If you’re on the road to greatness and looking for the edge, consider getting up before everyone and getting a bunch of things done while the rest of the world is sleeping.
2. Start the day on your terms
The worst thing anyone can do is grab the phone off the nightstand and immediately start reading and answering emails, or jumping right into social media. This puts you into reaction mode and that’s the way the rest of your day will likely go. Not because of everyone else, but because you made the wrong choice.
The early hours need to be for you, to plan how you want your day to go, or to spend some time being creative and getting some solid ideas for your business and life down on paper – not spent in reactionary mode like so many other constantly-pulling-out-their-hair professionals do!
3. Make tasks and sequences of tasks easier by chunking down
Everything, even the fun stuff, can become a burden when you look at your day as one big continuous event. When you view tasks and the day as a whole as one big lump, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and think you can’t get it all done. Millionaires tackle this problem by chunking everything down, with actual or approximate times to complete each chunk within:
- Email time (30 mins)
- Social posts (30 mins)
- Meetings (1 hour)
- Interviews (50 mins)
- Blogging (40 mins)
- Lunch (15 mins)
- Dinner with family (60 mins)
- Gym (90 mins)
Tasks can easily be broken into chunks to, either chunks of time for each task (eg., proofreading, signing documents, calling clients), or chunks of time to complete key parts of a given task (eg., Proofreading: skim for 5 mins; in-depth read-through with red pen for 10 mins; consult with marketing manager for 15 mins about document).
4. Always pencil in time for creativity
Few of you could imagine allocating enough time each month to come up with 10 truly creative and potentially actionable ideas of your own. James Altucher, author of “Choose Yourself” claims to come up with 10 new ideas each and every day!
If all your days are spent responding to people and problems or brainlessly looking for things to do, how are you going to compete with the likes of this man, Seth Godin, Tony Robbins, Grant Cardone, and many others? Trust me, none have become so big they just pay everyone to create new ideas for their brand.
5. Realize efficiency will only take you so far
Most millionaires espouse the benefits of constantly refining processes and finding new ways to get things done faster. They’re not wrong, but few got their start by finding ways to get other people to do work for them, or signing up for trials of the latest productivity apps.
Most kept pushing forward and working their tails off to get their businesses profitable. After, things like personal assistants, chefs, trainers, and entire teams of professionals started to make their lives easier for them. Barbara Corcoran’s advice is: “If you’re gonna do well at anything, I think you just have to put the work in.”
6. Embrace gratitude
If you have nothing to be grateful for, what’s the sense of continuing the journey? Millionaires understand that putting out tons of effort all the time, without some introspection to admire what you’ve created, and to find joy in one’s surroundings is a recipe for burnout and possible depression.
7. Don’t get trapped into dogma
We’ve all heard this famous quote from Steve Jobs. He wasn’t just referring to those who work in the tech industry like he did either. The idea that we all must follow what the experts recommend, to get where we need/want to go, is an opinion that most millionaires definitely reject.
A fact they’ve all learned (and you will too) throughout their rise to glory is that everyone has to follow their own path. Regardless whether certain unavoidable modicums of “how things must be done” need to be adhered to (ie., putting the battery in your smartphone backwards doesn’t work!)
If you need to write a book in two weeks instead of two months – or else – then that’s what you have to do!
As you can see, there’s a lot more that goes into executing the perfect day than merely typing out a schedule and following it. You’ll have to make sacrifices that go against your own preferences (such as waking up early).
You’ll also have to think outside the box, constantly refine your creative process, go against accepted ways of thinking, and get introspective and figure out what’s going great and what needs improvement for continual improvement.
Wherever the path leads you, good luck and remember “failing to plan is planning to fail!”