Background: Steve Jobs, founder and visionary of Apple, had a vision that launched some of the most innovative technology in use today. Jobs not only founded Apple, but his unique vision also powered it to continue evolving and changing. As a result, Apple has positioned its brand for long-term success.
“Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” — Steve Jobs (speaking to Pepsi executive John Scullery and luring him to Apple)
Productivity Advice From Steve Jobs
- Focus on what matters most and get rid of the rest.
- Hire great talent then delegate tasks to free up your time.
- Get more experiences and broaden your scope.
- Reassess daily and make changes when you need to.
- Start with a list of the ten things you want to do in the year – then ruthlessly edit the list until you have only three or four items.
“This is how I do it. I take a sheet of paper, and I say, ‘If my company can only do one thing next year, what is it?’ We shut everything else down.” – Steve Jobs
Background: When we think of what’s possible through the American Dream, Oprah Winfrey is a classic household name that comes to mind.
Born to an unmarried, poverty-stricken teenage mother in rural Mississippi, Winfrey was sexually abused and discouraged at every turn. Despite the adversity, she was the first black female billionaire in history. Turning her talent for media communication into a self-made empire, Winfrey is regarded as the most significant black philanthropist in American history.
Naturally, to run an empire the size of Oprah’s, she has mastered the art of productivity even when her time availability is less than 5-minutes.
“Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher.” — Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey’s Productivity Tips
- Wake up early and eat a nutritious breakfast;
- Focus on your goals – “You become what you believe; you are where you are today based on everything you have believed;”
- Rise above and overcome adversity – even if it seems impossible;
- Follow your passion and channel your energy into success;
- “Practice stillness.” Oprah spends 20-minutes per day sitting in absolute stillness. It helps her to clear her mind and focus on her jobs and outstanding projects at hand;
- Lead a life for others – Oprah dedicates much of her time to helping others pursue a path towards fruitfulness;
- “I don’t believe in coincidences.” Seize every opportunity that comes your way, no matter how big or how small.
Background: Steve Harvey has come to be synonymous with what’s possible through hard work, grit, and infectious humor.
As a comedian, actor, radio host, and writer, Harvey was born to a large family, the youngest of five children, with his father passing away in 2000 from lung disease as a result of his coal-mining job. Harvey held a variety of jobs, like an insurance salesman and even a boxer, before he discovered his love affair with the stage. After landing a big break by making it to the finals of the Second Annual Johnnie Walker National Comedy Search, Harvey’s career took off.
Today, Harvey is looked to for time management and productivity advice.
“If you want to be successful you have to jump; there’s no way around it. If you’re safe, you’ll never soar.” — Steve Harvey
Steve Harvey’s Productivity Tips
- Tell people you’re trying something new. Explain the reasoning for the new approach and why you’re passionate about pursuing it;
- Trade-offs are ok. Let someone know if you can’t do one thing because of a new project;
- Share your to-do list – let people know about what you’re up to every day;
- Dark time – it’s ok to unplug and just be for some time each day. It’s critical for top productivity performance;
- Checkpoints are a must if you’re to stay determined and focused. Don’t veer off course;
- It’s ok to say “no” to meetings or projects that are not part of the productivity vision.