Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson changed his daily routine to do less: 'I was forcing a lot of the things'

Dwayne Johnson
Steve Diet | NBC

From an iconic WWE run to a thriving acting career and growing beverage empire, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has seen no shortage of success. 

But when it comes to his daily routine, his biggest success secret is to do less, Johnson said when he joined CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" on January 17

"I used to have this mentality … that, 'Well, my plate is full. However, I'm going to make room for [more]' — and I would find a way to do that," he said. 

Taking on more led to intense productivity for Johnson — but that "plate is always full" mentality eventually had a breaking point. "In many ways, I was forcing a lot of the things throughout the years that caused somewhat of an imbalance," he explained. 

Lots of people could benefit from taking a step back from long hours and back-to-back meetings, as Johnson did. After all, there's a good chance your workday is more congested than it needs to be. A 2022 survey from work management platform Asana found office employees spend more than half of their day doing busy work, as opposed to the job they were hired for. 

Hustle culture keeps many people busy and yet taking on more tasks, on the assumption that that will drive productivity. In many ways, though, the opposite is true: Research shows that multitasking diminishes your performance and output. 

While it's hard to pull back like Johnson did, research shows it could be the key to more long-lasting success. HR expert LaShawn Davis told CNBC that those who prioritize rest show up to work more energized and ready to tackle challenges — which can lead to better productivity in the long run. 

That's especially true when rest time occurs during the workday: Research shows scheduling in breaks can stimulate creativity and improve efficiency and concentration. 

If you're looking to mix up your daily routine, you might take a cue from Johnson. Rather than packing his plate past his capacity, Johnson told CNBC he now focuses on surrounding himself with people who are "much smarter" than him in specific areas, so he can receive and offer support when needed. 

"That really helps my day move along nicely," Johnson said.

There's no shortage of research to back up Johnson's point that most people can benefit from team-wide support — and surrounding yourself with talented people is a tip he has stressed for some time now. "We all have these goals. We all have these ambitions. But there is no success alone," Johnson told CNBC Make It in 2021

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Here's what Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson learned from launching his tequila brand
Here's what Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson learned from launching his tequila brand