Bill Gates achieved a lot in his 20s: after taking a leave of absence after two years of school at Harvard, the young tech whiz formed a computer software company with his high school friend, Paul Allen.
That company, of course, would become Microsoft, the most valuable publicly traded company in the world. Gates' success brought him much financial gain – he was the wealthiest person on Earth from 1995 to 2017, with an astounding net worth of $89.9 billion.
So, how did he make use of the same 24 hours we all have in a day to become wildly successful?
Let’s Take a Look at Bill Gates Daily Routine
#1 – He Starts His Day Off With Exercise
Gates was known to spend an hour every morning running on the treadmill upon waking up. And he did it with good reason; a 2019 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that morning exercise improves cognition and focus throughout the day. That’s not all of the perks, either. Waking up early in the morning to exercise also enhances personal discipline, which is likely to spill over into other areas of life – making you a more productive and efficient person overall!
#2 – He Breaks His Day Down, To The Minute
During a Charlie Rose interview, Gates, along with Warren Buffet, drove home the point that while he can buy anything he wants with his wealth, he cannot buy more time. With that in mind, he schedules his days meticulously. He’s known to break his day down into 5-minute increments. Here, the lesson for us is clear: time needs to be structured. Setting aside a specific amount of time to get a particular task done (say, ten minutes to reply three emails) keeps you from distractions, prevents decision fatigue, from wasting too much time on any one activity and will ensure your productivity levels are kept high.
#3 – He Schedules For At Least An Hour Of Learning
Despite his busy schedule, Gates allots one hour each day on deliberate learning. He’s known to read about 50 books a year. A book can also help him see something familiar from a different angle, thereby expanding his worldview. So, what’s the lesson here? Well, as Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Even if it’s not an hour, do dedicate a portion of your time to learning.
#4 – He Spends Time On Mundane Chores
Gates does the dishes. Why – when he’s so rich? Well, as hard as it may be to believe, research shows that mundane, everyday tasks can be opportunities to practice mindfulness – thereby promoting calm and creativity – if done in the right way. Of course, while this information will not make you like loading the dishwasher anymore, perhaps you could rethink the many household tasks you can’t get rid of. Remind yourself that if you get in the right mindset, the chores that you can’t outsource can be valuable opportunities.
#5 – He Gets Plenty Of Sleep
When it’s time for bed, Gates makes sure that he turns in early enough to snag seven hours of shut-eye. And we should all strive to do the same, given how crucial getting adequate sleep is. Not only does a lack of sleep impair cognitive processes – such as attention, alertness, and problem-solving, making it more difficult to learn efficiently, but it can also lead to serious health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure. So, to function at the highest possible level, do get at least 7 hours of sleep nightly.
Although you may not be striving to be one of the richest people on earth or building a giant software company, you can definitely see why building your own routines would be extremely beneficial.
A good start is to segment your day into different routines to make it easier. For example;
- A morning routine before going to work
- An afternoon routine after work
- A Before Bed routine
Do you currently have a routine or several? I'd love to hear what is working for you!