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5 Habits of High Achievers

Sophia Scearce October 29, 2021
Reading Time: 4 minutes

How to be Successful

  • Apple CEO and high achiever Tim Cook starts his day before 4 am.
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg carries a spiral notebook containing her to-do list on her person at all times during the day.
  • Whitney Wolf Herd, founder and CEO of Bumble as well as the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire, prioritizes getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. 
  • Google CEO Sundar Pichai reads the top news stories in the paper every single day.
  • Warren Buffet values his sleep, reportedly sleeping at least 8 hours a night.

Each of these business leaders has attained measurable success and recognition within their industries, and each maintains a particular set of habits that they carry out each day.

From the top business leader and industry influencers, to the star co-worker who always comes to meetings prepared with innovative revenue-generating ideas. We see them, we know them. They are high achievers. To be successful, high achieving professionals have a few core habits in common,  that anyone can pick up:


1) Rise Early

Productivity begins even before the start of the workday. High achievers don’t sleep in. Nearly 50 percent of the self-made millionaires begin their days at least 3 hours before the start of their workday. So instead of rolling out of bed just in time for your first zoom meeting (or even taking the call from your bed), consider waking up a little earlier.


2) Make a Plan

Successful individuals are highly organized. Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey designates time every Sunday night to prepare himself for the coming week. Scheduling out your day ahead of time is highly efficient. Not only does it provide a solid roadmap of the day ahead, but effective planning results in higher levels of productivity, creativity and shaves time off a busy day, leaving room for other important tasks. Writing down action items can also help commit them to memory. So buy a planner, and set aside time each morning or the night before to schedule out top priorities for the coming week. 


3) Exercise

We’ve all heard the phrase “healthy body, healthy mind,” but what are the direct benefits of moving your body daily on success? For starters, daily physical activity can improve concentration and cognition, while reducing anxiety and stress. This enables professionals to be more productive and enjoy longer periods of focus time. This benefit usually lasts 2-3 hours after an exercise session but helps manage stress throughout the day.

Exercise can also trigger the production of new brain cells. Studies show that physical activity promotes neurogenesis, an essential function to improving cognition.

Lastly, exercise releases endorphins which can boost overall mood. And most can agree It’s hard to get anything done when you’re feeling crappy. So lace up those sneakers, leave on the shorts or running tights you already have on, (because let’s be honest, the work-from-home dress code is athleisure at best), and prioritize fitness for at least 30 minutes each day. Tycoons like Oprah, Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson amongst others attribute much of their success to at least 30 minutes of movement per day. 


4) Be Smart About Staying Informed

Those dedicated to attaining success are committed to learning new things every day, which is why ​​most high-achievers are lifelong learners. Informed individuals make better decisions for themselves and their businesses than those who simply go with their gut. Additionally, they are more likely to be open to new ideas and empathetic to others’ emotions. There are many ways to stay informed. Subscribe to resources that aggregate content relevant to your industry goals. 

Here are some newsletter and podcast recommendations across different industries:

  1. Turbine Labs’ “Future of Work” Briefing – the top articles related to return-to-office, the future of the economy and other impactful articles as the world emerges from the pandemic. Also available in podcast form.  
  2. Up First by NPR – wake up each morning with the news from around the world. NPR balances in-depth reporting on topics with an array of headlines from around the world.
  3. Morning Brew – The pithy newsletter that covers evolving news stories from “Wall Street to Silicon Valley.”
  4. Views from the Control Tower –  a weekly briefing containing insights and perspectives from three-time CEO Leigh Fatzinger on how to stay current on what’s important without feeling overloaded.
  5. Robinhood Snacks – A podcast containing a breakdown of the top three business stories of the day in 15 minutes.


5) Sleep

What do former Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and NBA all-star Lebron James have in common? They both commit to sleeping 8 hours each night. The “all work, no rest” lifestyle that we’ve seen glorified in movies such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “The Devil Wears Prada” is quite honestly, bullsh**. Buying into “Hustle Culture”, which reveres routine centered on working long hours with minimal rest, has been consistently proven to be an ineffective method to achieve measurable success.    

In fact, in studies conducted by Tom Corley, author of “Change Your Habits, Change Your Life,”  a whopping 89 percent of self-made millionaires sleep seven to eight hours per night. Whether it’s achieving business, athletic or personal goals, sleep is a contributing factor to ensuring success. Commit to a bedtime routine. No screens after 9 pm, your body (and REM cycle) will thank you. 


Where to Begin?

While adding all five of these habits to your daily routine may seem daunting, taking them on one at a time can prove far less stressful and still yield measurable levels of self-improvement. 

Take staying informed, for example. Can you commit 5 minutes of your day to get up to speed on the day’s top stories? Our software sorts through thousands of articles, social posts and media each day to bring you the most impactful news headlines to recap your morning with our free “Future of Work” Briefing or podcast. Interested in seeing how we can apply our software to further your knowledge on an industry of your interest? Click Here