Bill Gates’ Secret to Increasing Productivity and Memory

Bill Gates
Bill Gates is a prominent American entrepreneur and philanthropist, co-founder of Microsoft, one of the most influential tech companies in history, and an active advocate for global health and innovation (Photo: Bill Gates/Instagram)

Bill Gates is one of the most successful men in the world. Although he is known for being one of the founders of Microsoft, his current work includes various businesses, investments, and philanthropic foundations. With so many ingredients on his plate, the billionaire has a secret to staying productive.

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For several years, he was the richest man in the world on Forbes magazine’s list, until he was overtaken by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.

In addition, he has several charitable foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Match for Africa, The Giving Pledge, OER Project, Breakthrough Energy, and Mission Innovation.



Bill Gates boosts his productivity and memory by practicing meditation at least three times a week for 10 minutes each session. In a “GatesNotes” essay, he recounted how he has benefited from incorporating it into his daily life.

I’m not sure how much meditation would have helped me focus in my early days with Microsoft, because without it I was concentrating in a monomaniacal way. But now that I’m married, have three kids, and have a broader set of professional and personal interests, it’s a great tool to improve my focus,” he wrote on his website.

Bill Gates practices meditation and mindfulness
Bill Gates practices meditation and mindfulness (Photo: Bill Gates/Instagram)

It also helped me take a step back and relax with any thoughts or emotions present. I like what I get out of my 10 minutes every few days.”


Bill Gates isn’t a particularly religious person or interested in the mystical, but when he learned more about the benefits of meditation, his perspective on the practice changed.

I thought of meditation as something woo-woo linked in some way to reincarnation, and I didn’t believe it. Lately, however, I have gained a much better understanding of meditation. I’m certainly not an expert, but now I meditate two or three times a week, for about 10 minutes each time,” he explained.

Since then, it has become a tool for exercising the mind and learning to control it, which he shared, on occasion, with his then-wife, Melinda French.

Now I see that meditation is simply an exercise for the mind, similar to the way we exercise our muscles when we play sports. To me, it has nothing to do with faith or mysticism. It’s about taking a few minutes out of my day, learning to pay attention to the thoughts in my head and distancing myself from them a little bit,” he added.


In another blog post, this time from 2012, Bill Gates says he doesn’t really have a photographic memory, but he’s good at remembering information about science and business, because those are the topics that interest him.

After reading Joshua Foer’s book, “Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything,” he came to the conclusion that ordinary people (who don’t have special abilities and whose brains work differently), tend to have a good memory for topics that are important to them.

That’s why it’s hard to try to force a bunch of random facts into your head. But you’re extremely good at remembering faces or images, with visual memory being a survival advantage in our evolutionary history. It’s amazing,” the businessman wrote. “Lots of practice in visualization is key to a strong memory. Foer found that people who win memory contests use certain techniques to visualize things, techniques developed primarily in ancient Greece. They talk about what they do as building a palace of memory; Often, literally, they visualize a house with many rooms and different people and things in each room, representing what they’re trying to remember.”




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