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Jeff Bezos Reveals His Daily Routine And How He Makes Decisions

Jake Massey

| Last updated 

Jeff Bezos Reveals His Daily Routine And How He Makes Decisions

Featured Image Credit: PA

Jeff Bezos has revealed his daily routine and how he makes his decisions - which is probably worth paying attention to, given he is the richest person on Earth.

The Amazon founder and CEO provided a rundown of his typical day in his book, Invent & Wander.

One interesting thing to note is the importance he places on sleep. As a man with a lot on his plate, you might think he'd be powering through constantly on espressos and power-naps.

However, he ensures he gets enough zzzs - going to bed early and getting up early - as he says this has a critical impact on his decision-making.

In an excerpt from the book, the 56-year-old writes: "I prioritize sleep unless I'm traveling in different time zones. Sometimes getting eight hours is impossible, but I am very focused on it, and I need eight hours. I think better. I have more energy. My mood is better.

Bezos aims for eight hours of kip. Credit: PA
Bezos aims for eight hours of kip. Credit: PA

"And think about it: As a senior executive, what do you really get paid to do? You get paid to make a small number of high-quality decisions. Your job is not to make thousands of decisions every day.

"So let's say I slept six hours a day, or let's go really crazy and say I slept four hours a day. I'd get four so-called productive hours back. So if before I had, say, twelve hours of productive time during any waking day, now all of a sudden I have twelve plus four - I have sixteen productive hours.

"So I have 33 percent more time to make decisions. If I was going to make, say, one hundred decisions, I can now make thirty-three more. Is that really worth it if the quality of those decisions might be lower because you're tired or grouchy or any number of things?"

So quality over quantity is key when it comes to decision-making in business.

Another thing which the mega billionaire says is critical in this regard is deciphering what kind of decision is being made.

He explains: "There are two types of decisions. There are decisions that are irreversible and highly consequential; we call them one-way doors, or Type 2 decisions. They need to be made slowly and carefully.

"I often find myself at Amazon acting as the chief slowdown officer: 'Whoa, I want to see that decision analysed seventeen more ways because it's highly consequential and irreversible'.

"The problem is that most decisions aren't like that. Most decisions are two-way doors. You can make the decision, and you step through. It turns out to have been the wrong decision; you can back up.

"And what happens in large organizations - not in start-up companies but in large organizations - is that all decisions end up using the heavyweight process that is really intended only for irreversible, highly consequential decisions. And that's a disaster.

Bezos says there are two types of decisions. Credit: PA
Bezos says there are two types of decisions. Credit: PA

"When there's a decision that needs to be made, you need to ask, 'Is it a one-way door or a two-way door?'. If it's a two-way door, make the decision with a small team or even one high-judgment individual.

"Make the decision. If it's wrong, it's wrong. You'll change it. But if it's a one-way door, analyse it five different ways. Be careful, because that is where slow is smooth and smooth is fast."

But as well as all this super high stakes decision-making, Bezos still makes time for 'puttering'.

He says: "I like to putter in the morning. I get up early. I go to bed early. I like to read the newspaper. I like to have coffee. I like to have breakfast with my kids before they go to school. So my puttering time is very important to me."

If only it was just the puttering part which brings in the big bucks, eh? Got that bit down.

Topics: Celebrity, jeff bezos, Interesting, Amazon

Jake Massey
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