There are 1,440 minutes in a day and 1,000 times as many suggestions for how to make the most of every one.
But when you want actionable time management advice, who are you prepared to really listen to? A lot of people would say “billionaires,” who presumably have learned a few things about managing time as they've accumulated vast wealth.
A new book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management by Kevin Kruse and profiled in Inc. magazine, trains the spotlight on seven billionaires (all men, by the way) to reveal some intriguing points of view.
If you've been known to mutter, “There just isn't enough time in a day,” the book may be worth a read – if, that is, you can spare the time.
- Billionaire: Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group
- Essential time tip: Conduct meetings standing up – and, if you can, during a walk. “I find it to be a much quicker way of getting down to business, making a decision and sealing the deal," Branson says.
- Billionaire: Warren Buffet, entrepreneur and investor
- Essential time tip: Learn to say “no.” Buffet's affable, smiling demeanor evidently belies a tougher underside: "The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say 'no' to almost everything,” Buffet says. (Note: this is valuable advice from Buffet, who often speaks in platitudes. An example: “The rich invest in time. The poor invest in money.”)
- Billionaire: Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb:
- Essential time tip: Schedule your day in reverse, meaning from the end of the day to earlier in the day, especially if you generally are more productive in the morning hours. “'I find I can focus more in the morning, whereas it's harder to get focused after having been bombarded by meetings, so I try to save meetings for later in the day," Blecharczyk says.
- Billionaire: Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of software giant Atlassian
- Essential time tip: Dispense with the notion of multi-tasking. It's not only overrated; it's a fallacy. “Do one thing at once,” he says. “Stop multitasking!"
- Billionaire: Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks
- Essential time tip: Schedule meetings wisely – and with dollar signs in your eyes. "Never do meetings unless someone is writing a check,” he says.
- Billionaire: Andrew Mason, co-founder of Groupon
- Essential time tip: Master the art of self-discipline in all business pursuits. “If I was building a character in a business video game and I had 10 character points to distribute, I'd put three of them into intelligence and seven of them into self-discipline," Mason says.
- Billionaire: Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook and Asana, a productivity app
- Essential time tip: Select one day a week to focus exclusively on individual work, with absolutely no interruptions. “At Asana, we have 'no meeting Wednesdays' to encourage flow and productivity across the company," he says.
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