12 Ways Millionaires Manage Their Time to Achieve Maximum Productivity
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
People who achieve millionaire status have one thing in common -- they have all found ways to amp up their productivity and squeeze the most out of every day. The most successful millionaires have learned to do this without becoming workaholics.
It’s not easy to walk the line between mastering time management and allowing time and work to become your master. But if you hope to accrue wealth and want to be able to enjoy it, it’s key to find ways to sustain full-blown efficiency without hitting major burnout.
Start incorporating these 12 lessons into your daily work habits now, and you’ll learn the fine art of how millionaires achieve maximum productivity while ensuring they still have time for it all.
1. Keep a laser-like focus on your top goals.
Having too many goals is distracting and can actually keep you from achieving any of them. Millionaires avoid spreading themselves too thin by narrowing down their major goals to a handful at a time -- usually no more than three.
It may be that you have a number of big goals in mind. Prioritize the ones you want to do first, and put the rest on a “someday” list. Keeping your focus on these top goals ensures you will stay productive and aren’t taking on too much. When you’ve accomplished these goals, move on to the next.
2. Hone your self-control.
Top-performing millionaires exert a great degree of self-control and self-discipline because they know it’s the best way to plow through their workload and still have time to spare. When it’s time to be on your A-game, your will to stay on task must be stronger than your desire to do anything else.
When we’re in control of ourselves, we can unleash our full productive potential. Those who are disciplined aren’t easily side-tracked. This doesn’t mean you’re nose-to-the-grindstone all day. Breaks are important. But it’s important to recognize that the only thing slowing you down is you. Millionaires know that when it’s time to focus, they need to tune out the noise and zero in on the task.
3. Create habits that support productivity.
Millionaires get things done by fostering good habits that support them in being productive and achieving their goals. They often get up early to get a jump on the day. They tend to focus on one big primary goal each day, with everything they do is centered on making that happen.
They take advantage of any block of time to get things done, whether it’s a 5-minute window to send an email or a 15-minute block to look over reports or make a quick phone call. They know that you can accomplish a lot in a little time if you use it wisely.
4. Use automation for maximum efficiency.
Millionaires who are tech savvy know that automation is an easy win for efficiency. Sometimes it’s easier to utilize technology than rely on people.
Tasks that are part of a repeatable process can be automated, including data backup, accounting and some human resources and marketing tasks. The key is to make sure your operation is already running efficiently. Otherwise, any problems you have will only be magnified by automation. Besides saving time and boosting productivity, the benefits of automation include freeing up resources and reducing employees’ workloads.
5. Make time for deep work.
Even for a millionaire, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily hustle and bustle of work: putting out fires, answering emails, going to meetings. But the most successful people know that maximizing their productivity means giving their important projects the time and attention they need.
Successful millionaires recognize that they need to carve out time to completely focus on demanding projects. They set aside blocks of time to allow their brains to go into “deep work.” This might be several hours of uninterrupted time completely devoted to the task at hand -- no phones, no emails, no people stopping by to chat. That’s when they’re able to make their biggest breakthroughs and make important headway on their goals.
6. Set time limits for lower-level tasks.
Millionaires make sure to prioritize their projects so that lower level tasks don’t eat up their day. They designate time slots and put time limits on accomplishing less important tasks. For instance, instead of letting email suck up the morning, limit yourself to checking and responding to email at certain times of day, such as once midmorning, once in the afternoon and once in the evening.
Keep your responses as succinct as possible. Set time limits for meetings and keep phone conversations to the point. This one hack will give you more time to devote to bigger issues and projects.
7. Carefully consider which opportunities to seize.
It’s tempting to seize any and all opportunities that come your way. But millionaires understand that trying to take on everything will eventually leave them overwhelmed, and then they’ll be unable to fulfill any of their obligations to the best of their ability.
Carefully consider which opportunities have the best potential and are the best fit for you. Is the opportunity in keeping with your broader vision and does it put you in a better position to achieve your dreams? If not, it may not be the right move for you.
8. Take a lunch break.
Millionaires don’t scarf their lunch sitting at their desk. They make sure to give themselves a midday break, not only to eat, but to make that time useful and productive in other ways.
A lunch break is a great time to get outside for a little exercise, or simply to soak up some vitamin D from the sun. Lunch is also a great opportunity to do some networking or get to know your co-workers and colleagues by sitting down to a meal together and chatting outside the workplace.
And if it’s a day when you’re feeling exhausted and struggling to stay focused, find a quiet place to take a snooze during your lunch break. Even a 20-minute nap can help you optimize productivity for the rest of the day.
9. Structure your day for success.
If there’s one thing that millionaires and successful people have in common, it’s that they all structure their day for top productivity. They set aside the first two hours of work to tackle their most important projects.
After that, they may take a breather and check email, but then they quickly move on to their next most important tasks. Successful people make sure to stay focused on their priority tasks, and end their day by making a to-do list that will set their schedule and tasks for the next day.
10. Don’t be afraid to say no.
Even millionaires feel the pressure to say yes to every task that comes their way. After all, no one wants to come off as lazy, unhelpful or uncooperative. But successful people know it’s their ability to say no that will enable them to focus their energy and truly function at top productivity.
Realistically, you’re not going to be able to take on every task and do a good job with it. And the more you have on your plate, the more your attention will be divided. Be up-front with others about what you can take on without making up excuses or being disrespectful. The key is to be direct and explain that you don’t have the bandwidth to do more.
11. Find time to recharge.
Hard work and focus are key to productivity, but nobody can work 24/7. Millionaires know when to give themselves a break and when it’s time to walk away for the day. Everyone needs time to recharge their minds and find a sense of peace and quiet in their day.
When you’re feeling worried and stressed, you’re not working as effectively and productively as you could be. Giving yourself space to decompress, breathe, feel gratitude and engage in self-care is crucial to achieving maximum productivity and focus during work time.
12. Figure out what works for you.
Millionaires don’t attain their success by following everyone else's rules. They embrace the fact that they function and operate differently. Some people may be adept at answering emails while doing other things. Some insist on focusing on one thing at a time. Some may prefer to work late at night, while others are early birds.
Keep an open mind to advice on time management, but take the time to figure out your own best practices. If you try a productivity hack and it doesn’t work, try something else -- but keep at it until you feel you are functioning at your best. The rule for productivity is that there are no hard and fast rules -- it’s about what works for you.