The Daily Habits of 40 Highly Successful Business Leaders

Success doesn’t just happen. Instead, it’s something you plan for. And that requires finding the right balance between those big long-term goals and the short-term objectives that will keep you on the right path.

Supergenius Elon Musk wakes up with one goal in mind: putting humans on Mars. But what does he do every day to turn that dream into a reality? OnDeck decided to investigate. The small business loan provider examined the daily work routines of 40 highly successful business owners.

Like Musk, most of today’s most successful business leaders exploit the body’s natural rhythms to optimize their daily output. In other words, the early bird really does catch that worm. Musk, Richard Branson, and Slack co-founder Cal Henderson are all in the office before 7.00 am. They direct their early morning energy and brain power toward catching up on emails, meetings, and strategic planning sessions.

Tiny Capital founder Andrew Wilkinson does things a little differently. A self-confessed night-owl, Wilkinson rarely wakes up before midday. He heads into the office at about 1 pm, where he works for around 5-6 hours. Wilkinson might put in a few more hours during the late evening, but only if he’s in the mood. And Wilkinson never, and we mean really ever, clocks on during the weekend.

Billionaire tech investor Mark Cuban is another highly successful business owner who believes the quality of your work always trumps quantity. He works less than 6 hours a day and is always out of the office by early afternoon. “Judge yourself by the targets and goals you hit,” says Cuban. “Not the number of hours you work.”

Unfortunately, Cuban and Wilkinson are the exceptions. On average, these 40 successful business leaders work 10 hours a day. And those long days can take their toll, especially during highly stressful periods. That’s why scheduling in some downtime is just as important as making room for late-night phone calls and strategy meetings.  

Your daily routine isn’t just a schedule; it’s a roadmap to success. So check out how the rest of these inspiring business leaders plan their days.


Ashley Murphy graduated with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Manchester. He began working as a freelance content writer in 2015. He specializes in technology, higher education, advertising copy, and current affairs.

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The Daily Habits of 40 Highly Successful Business Leaders

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