We all want to be happier and more successful and to get more out of life. (Who doesn't?) If only it were possible to squeeze more time into each day.

I understand that desire for more time. As the founder of Aha! I have a very busy schedule -- sometimes too busy. But I learned that I needed to take more control of my time if I wanted to accomplish my goals and strive for sustainable happiness.

Simple practices like writing down a list of the goals I want to accomplish each week help me make the most of every hour. Crossing items off my to-do list keeps me motivated, focused, and happy.

Some of the happiest and most successful people I know are entrepreneurs and founders. Not surprisingly, they are also masters of time management. They decide what is most worthy of their time and where they will devote their energy -- and enjoy life and are more successful for it.

Here is how several successful entrepreneurs you may be familiar with maximize their time:

Make the most of mornings

Benjamin Franklin started each morning by asking, "What good shall I do today?" While some people dread mornings, successful entrepreneurs usually look forward to them. Many get up before the sun rises and zero in on the essentials. 

 Richard Branson wakes up at 5 a.m. to exercise and spend time with his family before getting down to work. Designer Tory Burch gets up at 5:45 a.m. and lets her hair air-dry on the way to work so she has more time for tackling emails.

Stick to an exercise schedule

Everyone agrees that exercise is good for you -- but for maximum impact, it needs to be a daily discipline. Many of the most successful entrepreneurs make exercise a top priority. Alexa Von Tobel, founder of LearnVest, attends a gym class nearly every day with her employees. 

Brian Chesky, co-founder of Airbnb, is a former bodybuilder and still lifts weights daily. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour hits the tennis courts every day at 5:45 a.m., while Kat Cole, founder of Cinnabon, practices yoga faithfully.

Read something new

Many people do not allow time to read and actually consider it a luxury, with the average American reading only 19 minutes per day. But some of the most successful entrepreneurs devote more than two hours each day to reading and improving their minds. 

Warren Buffett spends 80 percent of his day reading, logging up to 500 pages, while Elon Musk devours nonfiction books as well as fiction. Oprah Winfrey, who began reading at age 3 and started her now-famous book club in 1996, reads quotes from her box of "365 Truths" while waiting for her tea to brew each morning.

Take time for sleep

Too many people sacrifice sleep to catch up on work -- and even brag about how they are operating on just a few hours of shuteye (and plenty of caffeine). But skipping sleep is a bad move that can lead to poor performance and serious health problems down the road. 

Ariana Huffington once collapsed from exhaustion and now considers sleep to be non-negotiable, sleeping seven hours. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos makes sure to get a  solid eight hours, and puts off morning meetings so he can enjoy breakfast with his wife. Moz founder Rand Fishkin and Kissmetrics co-founder Neil Patel both log a eight hours each night.

We are all allocated the same 24 hours each day. And time is not something that any of us can buy more of. But busy as the best entrepreneurs are, the happiest ones invest their time in what matters most to them.

Successful entrepreneurs know better than to squander time. They understand that the more time they devote to the things they love, the happier and more successful they will be -- and these are good lessons for all of us.

What do you do to make the most of each day?

Published on: Jul 8, 2016