10 Things Successful People Understand

Take a look at life through the eyes of a billionaire.

When you are counting the minutes behind your desk on a Monday morning for a job that you actually do not like at all, you sometimes ask yourself: ‘how do those successful people do that?’ Journalist Kevin Cruse decided to really put this question to the most successful people in the world and got surprising answers.

For his research, he interviewed more than 200 successful individuals, including 7 billionaires, 13 Olympic champions, and a lot of celebrated entrepreneurs. He got the most remarkable answers to the question: “what is your secret to productivity?”

We selected the ten most surprising answers for you so that you can see the world through successful glasses.

They focus on one thing at a time

Successful individuals know which task or activity will lead them to the top the fastest. They also know that they are most productive during the first two hours of a working day. Logically, they throw themselves on this task at the start of their day, without interruptions, so that the success pays off quickly. So ask yourself: which task has the greatest impact on achieving my goals? What achievement will get me promoted? And use this knowledge to your advantage.

They don’t use to-do lists

Throw out your to-do list and plan everything in your calendar from now on. It turns out that only 41% of the tasks on a to-do list are actually done. So all the tasks that remain, often cause a lot of stress and sleepless nights due to the Zeigarnik effect, which states that uncompleted tasks remain at the top of your stream of thought until you complete them. Productive people schedule everything in their calendars so that a specific time is reserved for each task and all tasks are completed.

They come home in time for dinner

Kevin got this surprising answer from Andy Grove of Intel, who said, “There are always more tasks to be accomplished, more chores to be done, and more problems to be solved.” Successful people know what they value most in life. Of course, they care deeply about their work, but they appreciate family and friends, time to exercise, and immerse themselves in other passions and interests even more. A day consists of 1440 minutes and you can count on successful people making sure that every minute is spent on all the things that are important to them.

Wherever they go, they always have a notebook with them

Always have a notebook with you. Write everything down, that’s a golden tip they don’t teach you at school, ‘says Greek shipping giant Aristotle Onassis. And Richard Branson also admits that he couldn’t have set up Virgin without the help of a simple notepad. Not only does it make sure that you never forget anything, but you also free your mind of a particular idea or inspiration that comes up.

They only check their email a few times a day

Productive people don’t check their email all day long or respond to every beep or bleep that suggests a new message is waiting for them. Instead, as it became clear in previous points, they plan all their time accurately, including checking their email, so that this can be done efficiently and takes as little time as possible.

They avoid meetings like the plague

The secret to being your most productive self? According to Mark Cuban, that is avoiding meetings unless you know that a contract will be signed or payment will be made. According to him, meetings take up a lot of time. They never start on time, include people who often have nothing to do with the problem or project, and are far too wordy. When a meeting is necessary, keep it short and don’t ignore the topic.

They say no to almost everything

Billionaire Warren Buffet once said, “The difference between successful people and incredibly successful people is that incredibly successful people say no to almost everything.” And James Altucher also gave Kevin the following tip: “If you don’t think he’ll yeah, the answer is no.” Remember again: you only have 1440 minutes in a day, spend them well.

They follow the 80/20 rule

Also known as the Pareto Principle, which suggests that 80% of the results come from only 20% of the activities. Productive people know what activities are the cause of this success. Focus on this and forget about the rest.

They take care of business immediately

How often have you opened an email and then clicked it away again, because: you will answer it later? The same goes for bills. How often have you postponed paying for it? Successful people have the rule to ‘touch’ everything just once. When it takes less than five minutes to solve something, do it right away. Not only does it lower stress – since this problem now takes no place in their minds – it also makes you more efficient, since you don’t have to reread or re-evaluate things later.

Energy is the most important of all

You simply cannot put more minutes into one day, but you can increase your energy level. Successful people will therefore never skip meals, skip breaks, or miss vacation days because they are too busy. Instead, they see food as fuel, sleep as a means of recovery, and breaks and vacations as ways to recharge so you can get more work done later.

Felix Tammi

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