When I first heard about Kevin Kruse's new book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, I was intrigued. In it, he interviews seven billionaires, 13 Olympic athletes, and 239 entrepreneurs. The book was an easy read; it didn't disappoint.
What stood out to me in particular were these time-management tips from some of the most successful people on the planet.
1. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group:
"One of my favorite tricks is to conduct most of my meetings standing up. I find it to be a much quicker way of getting down to business, making a decision, and sealing the deal. When given the opportunity, I often like to take things a step further--literally, with a walking meeting."
"I think the number one thing that I take with me when I'm traveling is the notebook ... I could never have built the Virgin Group into the size it is without those few bits of paper ... If you have a thought but don't write it down, by the next morning it may be gone forever."
Apparently, one time when he didn't have his notebook with him, he scribbled the thought in his passport.
2. Warren Buffett, American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist:
"The difference between successful people and very successful people is that very successful people say 'no' to almost everything."
3. Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder of Airbnb:
"I try to fill my calendar in reverse, from the end-of-day to earlier; I try to reserve the morning for doing 'real work.' 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."
4. Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder of Atlassian:
"Do one thing at once. Stop multitasking!"
5. Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, Magnolia Pictures, and Landmark Theatres:
"Never do meetings unless someone is writing a check."
6. Andrew Mason, co-founder and former CEO of Groupon:
"Rather than give a specific piece of advice (I have tons, but none of it is rocket science), I'll just say that actually being disciplined about adopting these habits is, in my experience, a huge differentiator of successful people ... 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."
7. Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of the productivity app Asana and of Facebook:
"Pick one day a week that you and your team can focus on getting individual work done without any interruptions like meetings. At Asana, we have No Meeting Wednesdays established to encourage flow and productivity across the company."
8. Mark Pincus, co-founder and CEO of Zynga:
"If you want to build great products, devote more than 50 percent of your work hours to product. Don't accept [any engagements] if you can't justify them as benefiting your users or your company."
9. Andy Grove, former Intel president:
"My day ends when I am tired and ready to go home, not when I'm done. I am never done. There is always more to be done, more that should be done, always more than can be done."