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Homechevron_rightBusinesschevron_rightBill Gates reveals key...

Bill Gates reveals key time management lesson he could've learned

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During his 25-year tenure as Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates meticulously scheduled every minute of his day, micromanaging his time.

Gates and Warren Buffett's long-standing friendship has facilitated valuable exchanges of advice over the years. One such piece of wisdom, which Gates acknowledges he would have benefited from learning earlier, pertains to time management. Gates believes this insight could have potentially enhanced both his happiness and productivity.

"It took far too long for me to realize that you don't have to fill every second of your schedule to be successful," Gates posted on Meta's Threads app on Thursday. "In hindsight, it's a lesson I could have learned a lot sooner had I taken more peeks at Warren Buffett's intentionally light calendar."

Throughout his time as Microsoft CEO, Gates was known for being a demanding leader, often sending late-night work requests.

In a 2017 interview with Charlie Rose alongside Warren Buffett, Gates revealed a pivotal moment. He initially believed that his relentless approach was the only path to success. However, after observing Buffett's surprisingly light schedule, Gates began to re-evaluate his own approach.

"I remember Warren showing me his calendar ... he [still] has days that there's nothing on it," Gates said, noting that Buffett's sparser schedule taught him an important lesson. "You control your time ... It's not a proxy of your seriousness that you fill every minute in your schedule."

During the same interview, Buffett emphasized the value of time, stating, "I can buy anything I want, basically, but I can't buy time."

Buffett's approach, which essentially advocates "work smarter, not harder," is supported by scientific research. Studies suggest there is an optimal range for work hours.

A 2014 Stanford study found that productivity declines sharply after 50 hours of work per week, with those working 70 hours achieving the same output as those working 55 hours. While some work provides satisfaction, a 2021 study indicates that having more than 9.5 hours of daily free time might be unrealistic, but prioritizing discretionary time can significantly reduce stress and improve long-term health.

Achieving this balance can be challenging. Gates himself admitted it took him years to find, as he shared in a 2023 commencement speech. "When I was your age, I didn't believe in vacations. I didn't believe in weekends. I didn't believe the people I worked with should, either," Gates said.

"Don't wait as long as I did to learn this lesson," he added. "Take your time to nurture your relationships, to celebrate your successes, and to recover from your losses. Take a break when you need to. Take it easy on the people around you when they need it, too."

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