Today, I look at how the world’s richest man schedules his day, and why you should adopt some of his practices.
In past posts we’ve talked a lot about mindfulness. Specifically, we’ve talked about the need to create time in your schedule for pauses or, as Kim Scott calls it in Radical Candor, “thinking time”.
And when the wealthiest man in the world follows this prescription, it’s a good bet that there are some things us ordinary folks can learn too.
The advantages that Bezos’ personal routine creates are ones that will benefit the leadership of any organization, large or small. Within his daily routine, the Amazon founder also gives us some insight into elements of his business strategy and philosophy.
First, he tackles his most demanding and mentally-challenging tasks first thing in the morning. He is fresh, well-rested, and has used his morning to clear his mind and focus. This allows him to use the full extent of his creativity and critical thinking skills, before a full day of work exhausts that energy.
Second, he prioritizes very effectively in both his personal and professional lives. In addition to tackling his most critical tasks early in the day, he wants to spend time with his family, so he includes that in the morning as part of his "puttering" time. His routine helps him sustain harmony between work and home.
Third, he makes it a point to get enough rest so that each day he is recharged and operating within a routine that allows him to perform at his best. This last element is often overlooked, especially as the “always on, always working” ethos has come to dominate so many professions.
A well-rested leader who is clear on both vision and strategy is going to bring a number of direct advantages to your team or organization:
They are more capable mentally and physically
That increased capability means he they will be better able to handle longer periods of focus needed to unravel complex problems
Their mood is better, making them better leaders
They are objectively focused on key priorities, and how they will be achieved
Conversely, a tired mind is more susceptible to making mistakes. When we’re tired we lose focus, which negatively impacts our problem-solving skills. When fatigue is paired with a lack of clarity on either vision or strategy, problems will be exacerbated and that team is going to underperform.
So, what are some takeaways that you can build into your own routine to increase your, and your team's, productivity and performance?
Become a more proactive scheduler. Schedule strategically, rather than just filling open time slots in your calendar. When considering when to schedule a meeting or event, consider the preparation needed, the time of day proposed, your objectives, and other factors before committing
Regularly assess your priorities and ensure that your actions support those efforts. This will make scheduling and delegating vastly simpler
Schedule time for "puttering" or "thinking" or just some rest to recharge body and mind and keep performance levels high. This will also spark a great deal more creativity and innovation
The common theme here? The better you are at managing your schedule, your time, and your priorities, the more successful you, your team, and your organization will ultimately be.
About the Author:
Matt Beckmann is the Founder & Managing Director of Ascent Consultants. In addition to experience as a former Chief of Staff to the Missouri Auditor and as a Corporate Vice President and General Counsel, he has advanced training and certifications in law, business, coaching, athletics, and other disciplines. His blog content, inspired by his deep passion for unlocking his reader's best potential, consistently equips business owners and individuals with the knowledge and resources to overcome obstacles that may be hindering growth.
Ascent Consultants provides business and project management consulting services, and executive and leadership development coaching. By converting client growth goals into an actionable "game plan," we lead companies and individuals to extraordinary outcomes.