10 Ways the Rich Stay Productive

rich habits of wealthy people

Small habits and choices you make every day can help you build and sustain long-term wealth. For the rich, habits define their success. If you’re looking to be a high earner — or just make the best use of your day — adopt these 10 habits of the rich and famous.

Related: What These 12 Highly Successful People Worry About Every Day

1. They Craft ‘Miracle Mornings’

Beyond waking up early, wealthy people kick-start their days with energy and focus by cultivating powerful and positive morning rituals. “Waking up early is just the beginning,” said Jeff Rose, certified financial planner and author of “Soldier of Finance.”

“My ‘miracle morning’ consists of identifying three things I’m grateful for, reviewing my daily affirmations, reading my daily devotional, exercising, reviewing my long-term and short-term goals, and then planning my day by the hour so I know exactly what I need to accomplish.”

Crafting a positive, action-oriented morning routine promotes the focus necessary to get things done and prevents unnecessary distractions or bad starts.

2. They Get a Full Night’s Rest

Sleep recharges the brain and the body, making it easier to focus and maintain productivity at the office. Though early risers tend to be more successful, that doesn’t mean you should be forgoing sleep for an early start.

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The Sleep Foundation recommends between seven and nine hours of sleep for the average adult. Less sleep than that can reduce productivity and increase your risk for a host of health problems, including stroke and cancer.

3. They Exercise Often and Eat Well

Much like getting enough sleep, rich people take the time to prioritize their health. It’s no secret the wealthy regularly exercise. Thomas Corley, author of “Rich Habits — The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals,” spent five years studying the lives of wealthy people, and he found that 76 percent of wealthy people engaged in aerobic exercise at least four days per week.

But food can also play a major factor in your productivity, according to the Harvard Business Review. In fact, the food you eat has a direct impact on your cognitive performance. Skip your lunch or breakfast and you’re liable to run low on glucose, the cognitive equivalent of gasoline.

Certain foods like pasta, bread, cereal and soda, release glucose quickly, giving you a short-lived burst of energy right after lunch, leaving your brain sluggish by late afternoon. High fat meals like cheeseburgers require a lot of digestive power and can leave you feeling groggy as soon as you get back to your desk.

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To get the most sustained energy out of your meal times, follow these tips:

  1. Bring fruits, vegetables and nuts to the office to snack on throughout the week.
  2. Drink plenty of water and limit your coffee intake to reduce your dependence on caffeine for energy.
  3. Have small, healthy meals throughout the day to prevent drops — or spikes — in blood sugar.
  4. Reduce your intake of fatty and high-carb foods during lunch.
  5. Plan meals ahead of time to prevent you from indulging on fast food.

Related: 51 Healthy Food Items That Cost Under $1

4. They Know How to Say No

Knowing how and when to say no is a key to success. A University of California, San Francisco study showed that those who have more difficulty saying no are more likely to experience stress, burnout and depression — eroding self-control and productivity. Successful people make a habit of saying no to projects and tasks that stand in the way of their goals. By avoiding becoming overcommitted, they can honor their existing projects and successfully complete them.

5. They Outsource

Laura Vanderkam, author of “I Know How She Does It” and “What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast,” found that highly successful people understand the value of their time. They outsource chores and errands so they can spend their free time enjoying the things they truly value — like family. On this, she said:

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“Whenever you can spend money to buy time, that’s probably a smart choice. You can make more money, but no one can make more time.”

6. They Take Advantage of Leisure Time

Successful people prioritize time off and schedule activities they value so that they’re energized and ready when it’s time to get back to work. “Leisure time is too precious,” said Vanderkam. “People who stay in demanding jobs for the long haul understand that leisure time is important and needs to be treated carefully. They stay productive by figuring out what activities would be more rejuvenating and by consciously structuring their time off to include those energizing things.”

7. They Get Specific With Goals

Everyone has dreams, but the rich stay motivated and on track toward achieving them by reflecting on their goals every day. In his research of habits of the rich, Corley found that 62 percent of rich people maintained daily focus of their goals, as opposed to just 6 percent of poor people.

Beyond focus, the rich break down their goals into daily to-dos that feed into their primary objectives. 81 percent of rich people maintained a daily to-do list in Corley’s research, compared to just 19 percent of poor people. Writing down goals, focusing on them every day and breaking them down into actionable steps help keep the rich moving forward.

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Read: 9 Reasons Successful People Are in Better Shape Than You

8. They Know Why They Work Hard

Successful people aren’t just connected to how they can achieve goals, they’re also driven by the why. Reminding themselves why they want to achieve their goals keep them motivated when their mission becomes fraught with obstacles and distractions.

9. They Practice Positivity

The rich often start their mornings off with meditation, affirmations and other positive thinking practices. For many highly successful, highly productive individuals — from Oprah to billionaire founder of Bridgewater Associates Ray Dalio — these positive habits are a scheduled part of the day. By practicing positivity, successful people are better able to maintain their cool when crises arise, keeping them solution oriented and proactive.

10. They’re Consistent

Rich people implement productive habits with remarkable consistency, often incorporating them into a daily ritual. “Since instituting a morning routine, I’ve quadrupled my income, written and published a bestselling real estate investing book, lost 10 pounds, bought my dream house and deepened my relationship with my wife. Not bad for just a few minutes each morning of dedicated routine,” Rose told Entrepreneur.

Rich, productive people build their lives around these types of positive, intentional routines, boosting their forward momentum and progress toward goals. Remaining positive, eating well and knowing how to divvy up your time can help you achieve the same.

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About the Author

Stefanie O'Connell

Stefanie O’Connell is a financial expert, Gen Y advocate, speaker and author of the book, “The Broke and Beautiful Life.” Dedicated to helping young adults achieve financial greatness, her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, SUCCESS magazine, MONEY.com, The Dr. Oz Show, Fox News and ABC World News.

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