10 Daily Habits of Successful Entrepreneurs
Have you ever felt as though you were extremely busy yet had little to show for it by the end of the day? Do you wish you had a little more productivity in your life?
At times, as entrepreneurs, we make business tougher than it has to be. Ultimately success is not tucked away in the grand moments of business. Rather it is revealed in the things we do day-in and day-out that fuel our greatest accomplishments. So, if you are ready to accomplish more consider a few of these ten daily habits to kick your business into high gear.
In an age of distraction, it can be hard to focus on the tasks at hand. But focus is essential to your success. Concentration is required to create, to complete what is important, to reflect, and to find peace during a hectic day.
Take proactive steps to minimize distractions and focus on 2-3 “high priority” tasks each day. While your to-do list is likely much longer, when you focus on the most important tasks, you can end your day feeling satisfied about the productive and results-oriented work that was accomplished.
2. Never check email first thing in the morning.
CheapAir’s CEO Jeff Klee explains, “My advice for anyone who wants to be productive in the morning: Don’t check email!” It’s tempting to want to check your email as soon as you rise — especially for those of us who sleep with our smartphones next to our pillows (Yes … you!).
However, it is one of the most unproductive things you can do. Why? Because you end up letting other people control your schedule; you transition into “reactive” mode and other people’s whims rule your day. You’ll need to put out a fire here, contact a supplier there and so on. Then your day has ended and you say to yourself, “I feel so unaccomplished!” Take back your day and wait to tackle your inbox.
3. Tackle the toughest projects in the morning.
Rise and shine to tackle your day with more productivity. According to Laura Vanderkam, author of What The Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast, her research suggested that “successful people devoted significant portions of their time in the morning that was most important, or loved to do.”
If you want to become a more productive morning person, Vanderkam suggests: “making the to do list the day before; getting good sleep; exercising; practicing a morning ritual, including meditation [or prayer]; eating a proper breakfast; avoiding morning meetings […]; tackling the most important work first; and visualizing your ideal day.”
4. Enjoy a quiet moment of reflection.
Get out of the office and find a place where you can quietly reflect on your day. For some this could mean a brisk, short walk. For others it is down-time for lunch (away from your office desk). Whatever elicits greater peace and enables you to reflect, find that “happy place” and own it.
5. Spend time on revenue-generating activities.
This is especially true for early-stage startups. Every day you should be focused on revenue-generating activities. This means that if you aren’t pinning for a profit – stop. If you’re posting daily on social media, create a social media content plan and auto-schedule posts in advance.
If you are completing a lot of “time-waster” activities in general it is time to refocus and gain clarity. Ask yourself, “Where do I want to be in the next 30 days? Are my daily activities attributing to my end goal?”
6. Consume information wisely.
Knowledge is potential power. Too much information is a distraction. Gain clarity on the type of information that inspires your day and consume it strategically. Especially if you find yourself stuck on a specific project, look to another industry for creative inspiration. It’s important to know that not all information is created equal. Consume accordingly.
7. Task your team to provide solutions – not problems.
Make it clear to your team that if they run into a roadblock, before they come to you they should have three solutions in toe. This not only empowers your team to be proactive problem solvers it will minimize the daily stress associated with putting out fires that most people can address on their own — with enough thought and careful consideration.
8. Talk to customers.
Whether it is a quick email to a client or a review of inbound customer feedback take time to listen and communicate with your customers. When you closely listen to their pain points you can better equip your team to find solutions. Most importantly, when you talk to customers and listen, it shows that you care. Emotional IQ can take you further than you likely expect.
9. Track your progress.
Use productivity tools to keep meetings, emails, and projects on track. Online apps like Progress Bar Timer will keep you accountable and reveal exactly how much time you’re spending on certain tasks. The free Google Chrome extension turns deadlines and quotas into convenient progress bars to help you track time and goals.
10. Make time for what’s important.
Do you enjoy tennis? If so, play a few rounds before you enter the office. Does a morning jog clear your head? If so, head outside on your lunch hour. Do you need to spend time with your family? Then commit to closing up the office on schedule.
If you’re unable to do these things it’s time to take a look at your productivity, delegate more and let go. If everything revolves around a committee of you — it’s time to remove the bottlenecks and empower those around you.
What success habits have you adopted?