240 Minutes a Day Separates The Rich From The Poor


Tom Corley boats - crop

There are 1,440 minutes in each day. That is the one common denominator we all share. With respect to time, we are all on equal footing.

Most people, rich or poor, consume about 1,200 of those minutes engaged in the following activities: work, commuting, family-related, sleeping, eating, bathing, bathroom, grooming and dressing.

That leaves about 240 minutes of time, each day. And it is what the rich do with those 240 minutes that separates them from everyone else in society.

According to my Rich Habits Study, the self-made rich make good use of their 240 minutes by forging daily habits that cover the following activities:

82% Engaged in Sixty Minutes a Day of Dream-Setting Activities

Dream-Setting activities involve the pursuit of a dream and the goals behind that dream. Typically, this is something extracurricular to work, such as engaging in some side hustle or spending time creating one or more additional streams of income. I cover Dream-Setting in detail in my book Change Your Habits Change Your Life.

77% Engaged in Sixty Minutes a Day of Deliberate Practice/Self Education Activities

Each day, the self-made rich in my Rich Habits Study regularly practiced some skill and regularly devoted time to increasing their knowledge related to that skill, their career or their industry. This daily habit helped them maintain and improve their skills and their knowledge, making them virtuosos in whatever it is they did to make money.

95% Engaged in Thirty Minutes a Day of Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise has numerous benefits:

  • Improves Mental Functioning – Aerobic exercise floods the bloodstream with oxygen. This oxygen eventually makes its way to the brain. Since the brain uses 20% of our oxygen reserves, increased oxygen flow into the brain soaks up more free radicals inside the brain, making brain cells cleaner and healthier.
  • Improves Health –Aerobic exercise increases blood flow, feeds the body with oxygen, strengthens the heart, helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis, helps lower high blood pressure, helps control blood sugar levels, boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL or “good”) cholesterol and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol. The self-made rich understand that healthier people have fewer sick days, more energy and this translates into more productivity at work. More productivity makes you more valuable to your organization, customers or clients, which translates into more value and ultimately more money.
  • Reduces Risk of Sickness and Disease – Oxygen is like a sponge. It soaks up free radicals (cancer causing elements) and converts these free radicals to carbon dioxide. The blood carries this carbon dioxide to the lungs, which then removes the carbon dioxide from our bodies by exhaling it into the environment. Aerobic exercise reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke and certain types of cancer.
  • Reduces the Effects of Stress Which Improves Immune System – When we feel stress, there is a domino effect of physiology that takes place inside our bodies which depresses the immune system and opens the door to sickness and disease. Because aerobic exercise contributes to an overall feeling of well-being through the release of certain hormones, it acts as a stress reducer.
  • Makes Us Feel Happier –Aerobic exercise contributes to an overall feeling of well-being by releasing endorphins, natural painkillers that promote an increased sense of well-being and make us feel “happier”.

You can’t make money in a hospital bed. Creating wealth requires good health. Good health translates into longevity, which means more time to create more wealth.

89% Devoted 30 Minutes a Day to Building Rich Relationships

The self-made rich in my study did certain things every day to maintain and grow powerful relationships:

  • Networking – Participating in or running business organizations, non-profits or trade associations.
  • Hello Calls – Calling important relationships just to say hello.
  • Happy Birthday Calls – Calling the relationships that matter on their birthday.
  • Life Event Calls – Making calls to relationships who have had a baby, gotten married, experienced a death in the family, etc. Life Event Calls are critical because life events are always emotion-based and emotions create powerful memories. They will remember you and your call.

100% Engaged in Relaxation/Leisure Activities

The self-made are not superhuman. Like everyone else, they require some daily downtime. The difference between them and everyone else is that they moderate that downtime to no more than an hour a day.

How you spend your time each day determines the financial circumstances of your life. The rich forge daily habits that make productive use of their time. They stick to their daily routines for many years. These daily habits have a cumulative effect which eventually shows up in the form of increased wealth towards the later part of their lives.

Every productive minute pays dividends down the road in the form of virtuoso skills and knowledge, good health and increased longevity, strong relationships and greater wealth.

For the rich, every minute counts.

Be Sociable, Share!
Thomas C. Corley About Thomas C. Corley

Tom Corley is a bestselling author, speaker, and media contributor for Business Insider, CNBC and a few other national media outlets.

His Rich Habits research has been read, viewed or heard by over 50 million people in 25 countries around the world.

Besides being an author, Tom is also a CPA, CFP, holds a master’s degree in taxation and is President of Cerefice and Company, a CPA firm in New Jersey.
Phone Number: 732-382-3800 Ext. 103.
Email Tom
| Download Media Kit


  1. thanks for sharing

  2. 100% agree with all points. In my 30s, I neglected the last point (relaxation and leisure), working long hours, traveling for business too much, and hit burnout. Today, I reap the benefits of the hard work but have learned that downtime is very important.

  3. Steve Rugg says:

    Interesting, but vehicle for this authors success alone. What it really, really boils down to is DNA Programing. Not some wishful thinking or self mind control or even habit if you will. I have participated in such theory’s since 1972, “Mastermind concepts”, the ability to “Think and Grow Rich” as Napoleon Hill claimed, Earl Nightingale’s, the Strangest Secret which no doubt made them millionaires. I participated in may hours of meetings and coaching sessions seminars etc. Although all of this is based on Positive Attitude, which is necessary for many, but believe me, I have known very negative millionaires in my time.

    I recently read the a biography of a super successful Artist, like many success stories, came with a great deal of universal intervention if you will, the being in the right place the chance meetings, the acceptance & trust of others and the indomitable belief in this person’s work and acceptance of millions of people. I think people today, as far as becoming wealthy, over time of course, are people like Clark Howard and Dave Ramsey. Americans fell victim many decades ago, to the “revolving credit trap” and notion that you can borrow your way to success, and that my friends is Total BS. Good example, I have a close friend that probably made 25 times what I have in my life time, per year, and today is living on his SS check alone.

Speak Your Mind