I know it’s click bait. But they seem to be cropping up all over the place: articles about celebrity productivity secrets. Or celebrity creative secrets. Or celebrity success secrets.
Examples: (and these are real articles) “12 Evening Routines of Billionaires You Need to Try.” “Use These Daily Routines of 7 Famous Entrepreneurs To Create Your Own Routine.” “How Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Other Successful People Start Their Day”. “The Daily Routines of Famous Creative People.”
It is popping up so often in my feed reader that I thought I should take a moment and point out something you may not have thought about celebrity productivity secrets.
There are two big differences between these people and the rest of us.
The first is:
They have people to do the work.
This was brought home to me a couple of weeks ago when my daughter and I toured the homes of three US presidents (Madison, Monroe and Jefferson). All three did great things. And all three had enslaved people to do the majority of the work of living so that they could free themselves to create other things like the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Monroe Doctrine.
Could David Allen get everything done if he was having to worry about carpool schedules, laundry, getting meals on the table or cleaning the bathroom? Probably not.
Could Oprah Winfrey do all of the things she does without someone to manage her mail, schedule and wardrobe? Probably not.
All of the celebrities have people to take care of the little things so that they can concentrate on the big things. It may be housekeepers, gardeners, assistants, wives or whatever. But there are people to do the work.
The second difference between them and us is:
They have more free time.
Some of the free time may come from having someone else do the mundane chores. Or reduced working hours. Or being able to work when they chose. Or in the case of a lot of artists, not having a job at all.
It’s not realistic for most of us to spend three hours in bed every morning catching up on mail and current events, as Winston Churchill did.
It’s not realistic for most of us to spend an hour exercising, an hour reading, and an hour planning the next day each evening.
In the end, we have to realize that our lives and the celebrity lives are vastly different. I know few people that have staff. There might be a housecleaning service or lawn service or nanny in a few houses I know of. But most people don’t have the luxury of staff and time that the celebrities do.
And that’s OK.
We don’t have to feel bad because we can’t do a morning routine of three hours.
And at the same time we shouldn’t not try to give ourselves the foundations for what we need.
We can move in that direction. We can determine what is important and what works.
These are just my first thoughts on the subject. There will be an article series on deconstructing morning and evening routines and how to adapt them for yourself coming in October.
Until then, ignore those articles about habits of the celebrities.