Bill Gates Reveals The 1 Thing You Can Do To Be Successful

As the second wealthiest person in the world, Bill Gates is responsible for changing the way we think about technology. Of the many questions to ask someone so successful, how to get there is an important one. Luckily, Gates previously revealed one of his top tips for his success. The answer may surprise you.

Bill Gates keeps a solid routine intact

Bill Gates
Bill Gates speaks onstage at 2019 New York Times Dealbook | Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times

Gates may not still manage Microsoft, but he and his wife, Melinda, stay busy with their children, or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which donates money to research and charitable organizations.

Gates’s typical day, in a nutshell, begins with no breakfast, according to Business Insider. But that’s not what makes him successful. The New York Times previously stated that Gates used to work out on the treadmill while watching “DVDs from the Company’s ‘Great Courses’ series.

After that, he’d read the top headlines then play a round of tennis. However, you don’t get in the position of becoming the world’s wealthiest man (or second wealthiest) without putting in the work.

A lot of the work stems from reading and comprehension of what he’s just read, then putting it to task.

“If you read enough, there’s a similarity between things that make it easy, because this thing is like this other thing. If you have a broad framework, then you have a place to put everything,” Gates said in the video.

“So, incremental knowledge is so much easier to maintain in a rich way,” Gates says. “At first it is very daunting but then as you get the kind of scope, then all these pieces fit in.”

He continued by saying that understanding the context of something, or the background information helps to learn the core information easier and that reading is “fundamental” to success.

“You don’t really start getting old until you stop learning,” Gates told Time.

“Every book teaches me something new or helps me see things differently. I was lucky to have parents who encouraged me to read. Reading fuels a sense of curiosity about the world, which I think helped drive me forward in my career and in the work that I do now with my foundation.”

Gates practices self-care just like the rest of us

In addition to his enjoyment of cheeseburgers and getting seven hours of sleep, Gates has an unusual relaxation technique that may be considered controversial: chores.

In 2014, Gates took to Reddit for an AMA to answer fan questions. Among them, he revealed his enjoyment of the mundane chores, like dishes, because “other people volunteer but I like the way I do it.”

Turns out, he’s not the only one who prefers the vacuum to a spa day. Amazon’s giant, Jeff Bezos.

“I do the dishes every night. I’m pretty convinced it’s the sexiest thing I do,” Bezos said in a 2014 interview.

The science behind it says the act of doing chores is a form of meditation (yes, really!) and can boost creativity by essentially shutting the mind off and running on auto-pilot.

If the richest people in the world can do chores and benefit, we all can.

What one thing can you do to be successful?

Gates has a slew of tips for anyone interested in following in his footsteps. Among them, there’s one that may be the simplest, yet most effective, according to Gates.

While you may not take part in all of Gates’s routine, try breaking your day into five-minute intervals. Tesla and SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, does the same thing.

To recreate the task in your own life, spend a few minutes each with carefully planning the next day into five-minute blocks to boost productivity.

It may seem tedious at first, but you’ll lose less time in the grand scheme because the day has already been thoroughly planned out.

Gates might spend five minutes reading headlines, five minutes returning emails, then five minutes on the phone, and so on.

“That’s the single best piece of advice: Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself,” Musk told Mashable in 2012.

When your day is fully accounted for, there’s less chance you’ll deviate and waste time. Gates also recommends carrying a small notebook to jot down ideas as they come.

If you’re a parent and/or have a full-time job with an endless to-do list, give the five-minute trick a try. Who knows — you could become the next Bill Gates.