The Only 3 Things Highly Successful People Do

Why Billionaires Don't Use To Do Lists

Did you know most billionaires don’t use to do lists? Instead they focus on three primary areas. These three focus areas make them super productive.

The ONLY 3 Things Highly Successful People Do

In his latest book, The 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, author Kevin Kruse made an interesting discovery. Out of the seven billionaires he interviewed, none of them talked about their “to do list.”

In his own words:

“What I discovered is that highly successful people don’t prioritize tasks on a to-do list, or follow some complex five-step system, or refer to logic tree diagrams to make decisions. Actually, highly successful people don’t think about time management much at all. Instead, they think about values, priorities, and habits.”

Let me be clear. I don’t think a “to do list” is a waste of time. How you execute what needs to get done is better than perfecting a “to do system.”

When you are clear on your values, priorities, and daily habits, execution becomes easy.

Let me quickly share with you how this works in my own life and business so you can do the same.


A question I like to ask is: “What are you ultimately trying to accomplish with all the hard work you are doing?” When I asked myself this question, four work values came to mind. I wrote an entire blog post on this (see: The Power of a Personal Vision for Your Life).

For me, the main things I wanted from all of my hard work was lifestyle, impact, financial freedom, and effort. I wanted the freedom to work anywhere with unlimited income potential while making an impact on others.

I also have separate values for my home life. My wife and I are constantly sharing and infusing these values into our home.

What do you value?


Once you know your values, nailing down your priorities becomes much easier. How you spend your time should support your values. This is what Chris Brogan calls “time alignment.”

In order to fully support my values, I need four things:

  1. Lofty Vision – Are you feeling unmotivated in your work? Are you tired of feeling like you are just wasting your days? You can solve that with a lofty vision for you life. What supports me the most is to break that lofty vision down into 90 day goals. I wrote about my process here (see: Your 90 Day Goal Setting Game Plan ).
  2. Unbroken Focus – If billionaires don’t use to do lists, then how do they get things done? They simply live-and-die by their calendar. What doesn’t get scheduled, doesn’t get done. For me, I carve out 90 minute focus sessions on my calendar at the beginning of every week. This supports me in getting the most important things done.
  3. Positive Attitude – Your thoughts dictate your actions. Lousy thoughts lead to lousy action. Courageous thoughts lead to courageous action. What supports me the most in my daily attitude is my morning success ritual.
  4. Passionate Community – Jeff Goins often says, “Every story of success is a story of community.” I believe that to be true. It’s why I’m so passionate about mastermind groups. I think every person deserves the opportunity to surround themselves with other passionate people who are heading in the same direction.


What are your priorities?


I’ve spent a great deal of time on this site discussing the importance of habits. If you want a deep dive into the topic of habits, then check out my podcast Simple Life Habits. The habits that support my values are probably different then what your habits will need to be.

As a solopreneur who runs an online business, I’ve narrowed my work habits down to four keystone habits. I derived these habits from watching and observing the best in my field. Then, I broke it down into the common habits each of them had.

I’d encourage you to do the same in your line of work. I spend 90-95% of my work week in one of these four key areas.

  • Create – I use text, audio and video to get me message out to the masses. This is free, helpful content for my target audience.
  • Capture – I spend time each week on growing my email lists. In a regular business, this would be defined as lead generation. My business grows, as my email list grows.
  • Compile – I block out times in my calendar each week in order to package products and services for sale. This is how I earn money for my business. What are the revenue-generating activities in your business?
  • Connect – I want to be intentional about growing my network. I spend time each week connect with other influencers in my line of work.

What habits support your priorities which ultimately support your values?

My encouragement to you is to spend some time alone working through your own set of values, priorities, and habits. Establishing these key areas makes everything else easy.

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.