Oprah Winfrey, Jay Z and others share their personal productivity tips


A productivity guide from some of the world's most successful people.

Author Paul J. Meyer once said, “Productivity is never an accident. It is always the result of a commitment to excellence, intelligent planning, and focused effort.” In other words, being productive doesn’t happen by chance.  You need to be committed and focused in order to be efficient.

Therefore, in an effort to help you identify areas in your life that will affect your success, productivity and ultimately, earn you more money, we’ve scoured the web for advice from some of the most successful people in the world.

 “Get up early” – Robert Iger, CEO of Disney

Successful people do not wait for the last minute to wake up and prepare themselves for the day ahead. In fact, Robert is not the only top executive who believes in waking up early. Jeffrey Immelt, CEO of General Electric, also says that by getting up at 5:30 every morning, he fits in time to do cardio, read the paper, watch the news and respond to emails. By 7am he’s in the office tackling things that really matter.

You don’t necessarily need to be as hard on yourself, but it’s a good idea to think about whether your sleeping habits are holding you back.

 “Have a plan” - Benjamin Franklin, Founding father of the United States

It is believed that every single morning Benjamin asked himself, “What shall I do today?” This indicates that he knew the importance of setting goals for himself – even daily goals. And the truth is, you can’t achieve your long-term goals, like earning more money, if you don’t set short-term goals.

So consider focusing on what’s in front of you at present, do it really well, and you’ll succeed in the future.

Read: Productivity tricks to get you ahead

“Don’t multi-task” – Timothy Ferris, Author and Entrepreneur

You’ve probably read countless articles about the inefficiency of multi-tasking. And, it’s true. Pretending to be all ears in a meeting while answering your emails, does you no favours. Successful people know it too. To ensure productivity and accomplishments, Ferris suggests setting yourself no more than two goals or tasks per day.

So next time, forget about attempting to do everything at once, and focus on one thing at a time.

“Prioritise what’s important” – Steve Jobs

You don’t have to invent a solution to the country’s power problems, for things to be important. The things you've put in the back burner are important too, and you need to set some time aside to catch up with these things. So although making time for your family and friends may not push you forward, it’s needed to keep you sane.

Remember that the way to the top can be quite lonely sometimes, so don’t forget to prioritise what's really important to you.

Read: Here's how to stay healthy in an office job

“Practice stillness”  - Oprah Winfrey, Talk show host and Producer

Oprah will tell you that she dedicates 20 minutes of her day, twice a day, to sitting in absolute stillness. Many people across the world, including corporates are realizing the benefits of meditation and mindfulness for reducing stress, improving productivity, stimulating creativity and maintaining general well-being.

You need to be in control of your mind and thoughts, to reduce stress. Also by treating your mind well, it will treat you well.

“Forget FOMO, embrace JOMO” - Randi Zuckerberg, CEO of Zuckerberg Media

Randi says that people need to forget about the era of FOMO (fear of missing out), and rather focus on JOMO (the joy of missing out). The sister to Facebook founder has gone as far as adopting a mantra: “There is nowhere I’d rather be than exactly where I am,” she's said.

Because successful people are competitive by nature, they practice an attitude of gratitude which includes fighting back against FOMO, and rather focusing their energies on finding happiness.

“Keep up the momentum” – Jay Z, Rapper and entrepreneur

The highly successful rapper and entrepreneur has made a name for himself as one of the wealthiest rappers of his time. His claim to success is no secret. “You can want success all you want, but to get it, you can’t falter. You can’t slip. You can’t sleep. One eye open, for real, and forever,” he says in his song, Decoded.

To break down the rapper’s lyrics: To be successful you can’t delay. You need to be persistent and work every day. Practice this, and you too might just find yourself buying your partner an island worth over R200 million for her next birthday.

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