When most people think of the millionaires and billionaires of the world, they usually see them as superhuman individuals who were destined for success from the moment they were born. While successful people certainly do have natural talents that have helped them along the way, they’ve also spent their entire lives working hard for what they’ve earned. An overwhelming majority of wealthy individuals have said they practice similar habits on a daily basis, including:
1. Waking up early
You’ve probably heard Ben Franklin’s famous saying: “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
While so many of us use as much time as we can in the morning to sleep until we absolutely have to get up, successful people use the morning as a time to get things done. One survey showed that almost half of wealthy individuals within the study wake up three hours before they actually have to be to work. This gives them enough time to wash up, eat a filling breakfast, and mentally and physically prepare for the day ahead of them. Think of that the next time you spill your coffee all over yourself while speeding down the street because you woke up with ten minutes to spare (and I’m not judging; I’m guilty of it, too!).
2. Using time wisely
Novelist Vanna Bonta once said, “There is only now. And look! How rich we are in it.”
As I just mentioned, wealthy people wake up quite early, and they don’t spend this extra time sitting around. They understand that every second that ticks by is a moment they’ll never get back, so they get in the habit of using time to their advantage. Think about all the time you waste throughout the day waiting for a bus or for water to boil for your coffee, scrolling through your Facebook, or watching sitcom reruns. It might not seem like much to take 2 minutes of your time to check your phone when it beeps, but if you do that 30 times a day (which isn’t out of the realm of possibility), well, you do the math. No matter how little time you have between tasks, there’s always enough time to be productive in some way.
3. Staying focused
Even if you don’t stop what you’re doing every time your phone buzzes, your attention will most likely be taken away from the task at hand until you do so. Successful and wealthy people eliminate distractions when they have pressing business to attend to. Why do you think CEOs have offices with locked doors and secretaries to answer their phones? They do take time to return calls and check their email, but it’s often at a set time during the day. In doing so, they don’t unintentionally divert their attention to five different things at once; they’re able to focus on one issue at a time, resolve it, and move on to the next big thing.
Another saying that’s been around forever, but is sometimes overlooked, is “If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
Think of the last time you were introduced to someone new: Did meeting them change your life in any way? Did you have anything to offer them? Wealthy people surround themselves with other successful people, and constantly bounce ideas off each other. Even during leisure activities, such as a day on the golf course, successful people discuss ideas, trade business practices, and forge mutually beneficial relationships. They actively seek out others who have mutual interests, ideas, and skills in order to expand their own ideas and abilities.
The most successful people in the world love to read. I previously discussed how wealthy people spend their time wisely. Whenever they get a spare moment, they often use this time to read something new. And they don’t read drivel, either. Wealthy people read to learn and expand their perspective on issues. An astounding 86% of wealthy people reported they are avid readers, compared to 26% of non-wealthy people. Reading helps people stay current and informed, and because of this, successful people are able to stay on top of trends and ideas. In doing so, they are able to become the producers of “the next big thing” that is loved by the masses, and make a killing doing it.
6. Planning their day
Successful people make a gameplan for every day of their lives. 81% of the wealthy people surveyed reported they create a to-do list either before going to bed each night, or immediately upon waking up each morning. These people also tend to overload their lists, so they don’t leave themselves with too little to do. 67% of the wealthy people who said they create to-do lists reported that they finish, on average, over 70% of the items on their list. If you’re anything like me, you feel relieved when you finally check off that last item on your list of errands so you can put your feet up for a while. On the other hand, wealthy people would rather have too much to do, and be able to spend their time improving themselves in some way, shape, or form.
7. Taking risks
Successful people love to stretch their comfort zones as much as possible. They’re not afraid to put themselves “out there,” even if they run the risk of failure. They embrace vulnerability, because they know that without taking a risk, they will never get further in life. This isn’t to say that wealthy people just haphazardly put themselves in risky situations. On the contrary, they analyze each situation they face, and calculate the chances of success for each decision they make. And they always have a “Plan B” in case things don’t go as they had hoped. By taking risks, and knowing how to handle themselves if they falter, wealthy people continue to rise up in the world.
8. Working smarter
Successful people are successful because they work smarter, not harder. They find the easiest way to go about a task while maintaining excellent performance, which in turn saves resources for other tasks. They also understand that working too hard will lead to burnout and an ineffective use of time. Wealthy people work in spurts, and then take short breaks once they notice their attention and focus weaning. By doing so, they rejuvenate their body mentally and physically, and can come back to a task refreshed and ready to work. When taking these short breaks, they let their mind wander to other possible solutions, and may come back to their workstation with a breakthrough that makes completing the task that much easier.
Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com