What does it take to be a successful inventor? A great idea, perseverance, dedication, luck.
While that’s all true, it’s probably not that helpful in terms of practicality. It’s all good and well to say, “You need to never give up,” but on a day-to-day basis what does that advice actually look like?
We delved into the daily habits of some of the world’s most famous inventors, entrepreneurs, and successful business people to help you learn what it will take to find success with your invention and business idea.
Steve Jobs was a habitual dresser. Every day, he donned the same roll neck, black sweater and jeans. This helped him cut back on the distraction of figuring out what to wear each day so he could concentrate on more important items.
Mark Zuckerberg is the same way. The inventor of Facebook has an entire closet of gray t-shirts and jeans. And while you’ll occasionally see him in a suit, most of the time he dresses habitually.
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Nikola Tesla would, reportedly, curl his toes 100 times a day on each foot, which he believed stimulated his brain cells. He also took many walks, which he attributed to some of his brightest ideas. Einstein did the same thing. He walked one and a half miles every day, to Princeton and back. He considered these daily walks precious time and it was during one of these walks that he achieved insight on the problem of the speed of light and the speed of other objects.
Inventors need alone time just like everyone else.
In fact, neuroscientists have discovered that when we use our brain to reflect, it actually processes things differently and can help awaken our imagination. That’s one reason why Dr. NakaMats, the inventor of the floppy disc who has 3300 patents to his name, spends time alone in his 24-karat-gold tiled bathroom each evening.
According to NakaMats, “The gold blocks out radio waves and television signals that are harmful to imagination.” And while you might not have a gold bathroom to hide away in, we think a quiet bedroom or park would work just as well.
Inventors work a lot; just look at Elon Musk whose businesses include Tesla Motors and SpaceX. He claims to work 80-100 hours a week, which doesn’t leave much time for other things such as sleep. But while Elon get’s 6-6.5 hours of sleep a night, other inventors have taken a different approach.
For example, Edison was apparently against sleeping through the night. He thought it was a waste of time. So, while Edison only slept three to four hours each night, he made up for his lack of sleep with power naps. This is a habit we can really get behind. According to UC San Diego researchers, naps can help boost creativity and problem solving.
According to Warren Buffett, one of the richest men in the world and an American business magnate, reading at least 500 pages a day is a key to success.
He reads everything from newspapers to financial statements and books. “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge builds up, like compound interest,” he said. We recommend choosing reading material that not only inspires you but also provides you with the information you need to turn your invention into a success.
Benjamin Franklin revealed in his autobiography that he stuck to a very strict daily routine. It was a 13-week self-improvement plan where he focused on a single virtue per week and then cycled through the plan four times a year. His plan consisted of waking up every morning at 5:00 am and going to bed at 10:00pm. In between he made time for work, planning his day, spending time with friends and family, and more.
Spending every single minute of every single day focused on work doesn’t work for everyone. For Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, adding fun to his day is a key to success. He wakes up every morning at 5:00 am to give himself enough time to kite surf, swim, or play tennis. He says, “"Exercise and family time put me in a great mind frame before getting down to business."
Every successful inventor will follow his or her own routine; the key is to find what works for you and to take the best traits from those that have gone before you. And if you need some additional help, follow these 7 Motivational Tips.
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