Some people just seem to have ‘it’. They make everything look easy, and success comes naturally. In reality, however, these are the people who have sussed out habits that make the day work for them, rather than the other way around.
Habits are the best way to create a routine that’ll set you up for a focused approach to your business startup. Let’s take a look at some of the best daily habits of successful entrepreneurs…
5am: Make Time For Yourself
It’s early and you want to stay in bed. However, getting up before everyone else has huge benefits when it comes to business success.
You have time to work out, to meditate, or just take time over the morning paper with a coffee. This is essential time for your mental wellbeing, and gives you a calm starting point to organise and prepare your day.
6am: Work Out
Going to the gym is a common thread amongst many famous entrepreneurs. Exercise not only keeps you healthy, but an early-morning gym session, yoga class, or swim is great for the mind. It helps to focus your thoughts, which reduces stress.
Maintaining your fitness is important as it’ll help you cope with your long days and stressful situations that always crop up in the early days of a startup. Your immune system will be stronger, so you’re not going to be knocked out with a sniffle as soon as the going gets tough!
8am: Have Breakfast
You need brain food! Skipping breakfast not only distracts you until lunchtime, but also affects your blood sugar levels. While your body is trying to make up for a lack of nutrients, your concentration will suffer.
9am: Plan Your Day In Timeslots
Before you check any emails or answer any phone calls, sit down and take stock of your To Do list.
Decide which items are the most important, and stick to doing just those for the day. Work out how long each task will take, and block out those hours in your diary.
Remember to allow yourself time for breaks!
Dividing your day into dedicated chunks of time will make it easier to visualise your achievements, and prevent distractions from rolling in.
11am: Check Your Emails
Instead of having your emails open in a tab all day, every day, set specific times to read and respond to them.
Turn off all desktop notifications, too. These can be distracting. If you’re worried about missing an urgent message, there are a couple of things you can do.
First, you can set a regular out of office reply message that states your email times, so that people know when they’re likely to get a response.
Second, include your phone number on this out of office message. If someone’s query really cannot wait, they can call you. This helps to prioritise tasks without any additional admin time, and ensures that you stay focussed on urgent things more easily.
1pm: Take Lunch Outside
Get away from your desk! Make time to get outside in the fresh air, even if it’s just to nip to the local café to get a sandwich.
Spending just a few minutes outside can revitalise your mood, re-focus your mind, and get some fresh air into your lungs! It also means you’re not sat at a desk ALL day, which helps prevent posture problems caused by sitting down too much.
You’ll often find that a short break away from your desk will also springboard new ideas. You might see an intriguing advert on a passing bus, or overhear a conversation that sparks a new idea for your business.
4pm: Make Tomorrow’s To Do List
Don’t wait until the morning to make your To Do list. Writing it all out the night before can reduce stress, and prevent you from losing sleep about all of the tasks you have to do.
Seeing a list of tasks might seem intimidating, but it’s easy to prevent that anxious feeling of being overwhelmed. Simply split your To Do list into a few smaller lists: Absolutely Must Do, Would Like To Do, Can Leave Until Tomorrow, and Should Do.
Your Absolutely and Should lists are your priority, but try to get at least one task from your Would Like list on tomorrow’s To Do, to keep your day interesting and varied!
6pm: Spend Time Cooking Dinner
Fast food is tempting, especially when you’re a busy entrepreneur with no time in the day for anything.
However, taking time to plan and cook a meal has a few serious benefits for entrepreneurs. It gives you time to bond with your partner and family, if you choose to cook with them, and helps give you time away from the office to decompress from the day.
You’ll also be fuelling yourself with healthier food, which has clear long-term benefits – so when you’re the Big Boss of your huge successful company, you’ll know it’s because you stayed healthy in the early days!
8pm: Read Industry News
Spend time reading about the news of the day from your industry. All successful entrepreneurs are active participants in their sector, and this includes regular information absorption. Read trade magazines, broadsheets, blogs, or listen to podcasts – whatever is the best way for you to digest information.
This will help you keep ahead of your competition as you stay informed of the latest industry hot topics and technological advances. As a new startup, you’re at an advantage too: you’re more adaptable and flexible than your more established competitors. Keeping an eye on the news allows you to jump on new opportunities in a way that’s not possible for established companies to do.
10pm: Prepare For Tomorrow
Choose your clothes and make sure they’re pressed and ready to wear. Lay out any accessories for your outfit. Put a pile of important don’t-forget paperwork next to the front door so you don’t forget it. Make your packed lunch if you have one, or lay out your favourite coffee mug next to the kettle ready for the morning.
Half of the secret behind being successful in the mornings is being prepared in the evening. Make sure your gym kit is clean and ready to go for your morning class, and you won’t spend twenty minutes at 5am rushing around trying to find a t-shirt that doesn’t stink!
11pm: Switch Off Technology And Sleep
Ban all laptops, tablets, and phones from the bedroom! The blue light they emit has been proven time and again to disrupt your sleep patterns. It’s also incredibly addictive: how many times have you thought “I’ll just read one more article” and then realised it’s 3am?
Make sure you get plenty of sleep. It’s essential for your brain to rest and to process the day’s events. An entrepreneur functioning on a lack of sleep is an ineffective, fuzzy-brained boss: don’t be that guy! A good night’s sleep will set you up ready for the busy day ahead.