Leadership

Billionaire Richard Branson says a key to his success is a habit anyone can form

Between overseeing hundreds of companies, working out each morning, and even designing elaborate pranks, self-made billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson packs a lot into each day.

It turns out, the key to his productivity is a habit anyone can adopt: punctuality.

"If you want to be more productive, then start at the start: get there on time," he wrote in a recent post on Virgin's website. "Whether it is a meeting, a flight, an appointment or a date, it's important to ensure you are there when you say you will be there. This may feel like an old-fashioned tip to give, but it has served me well for five decades in business."

Being punctual allows you to effectively manage your day, he explained in a LinkedIn post last year: "Once you get behind, it is hard to catch back up again. Being punctual doesn't mean rushing around the whole time. I always find the time to exercise kitesurfing, tennis or cycling and to spend time with my loved ones. It simply means organising your time effectively."

Plus, arriving on time is basic etiquette. As Branson said, being late is "incredibly disrespectful. It doesn't matter if you're a celebrity or a carpenter, a politician or a painter, a model or a musician, we all only have 24 hours in a day, and no one's time is more important than anybody else's."

The bottom line: Show up when you say you will. After all, as Branson wrote, "All you have in business is your reputation so it's very important that you keep your word."