Good habits are the foundation on which most successful entrepreneurs build their business. They realize that where their focus and energy is directed matters to achieving their goals. For those of us who struggle with poor habits there is hope.
According to Charles Duhigg (author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business), studies show that people perform automated behaviors the same way every time if they are in the same environment. Leveraging this behavior allows successful entrepreneurs to avoid decision fatigue and instead focus on more important things.
So what habits can help you get on the path to success? Well there a number to choose from but here are 7 researched backed habits.
1. Create a Recharge Ritual
A NASA study of 4000 of their employees showed that those that took a 30 minute break to recharge themselves, increased productivity by 35% and improved decision making by up to 50%, compared to those that didn’t.
While recharge rituals vary from person to person they are a key part of successful people’s lives. Take entrepreneurs like Joel Gascoigne, Alexis Grant and Elaine Wherry.
Here are some ideas to help you create your recharge ritual. Be sure to test, develop and maintain what works for you:
- Make time to workout and maintain your health
- Get a massage or spend some time with loved ones
- Schedule reflective mediation time on a regular basis
2. Enjoy Time in Solitude
According to Psychology Today, spending time alone improves your ability to focus, and increases your productivity. By scheduling time to yourself, you can benefit from the opportunity to reenergize your purpose. Here are a few idea of how to effectively develop and reinforce the habit.
- Disconnect from technology and others for a time
- Get up or get in early to work when things are quieter
- Don’t spend your lunch working at your desk
- Schedule your time in solitude
3. Take Time to Reflect or Meditate
A series of studies shows that taking time out to reflect teaches you to do it better next time and boosts performance. According to a study done at Stanford University, taking time to reflect instead of working extra hours will make you more productive. So how can you create the habit of reflection despite your busy schedule. Here are a few ideas:
- Schedule the time for it
- Contemplate areas of your life not just activities
- Be open to change and be brutally honest
- Envision yourself making positive change
- Make note of the change that occurs through the week
4. Plan Your Week Ahead
According to researchers at Duke University, well-formed habits become automatic responses. Successful entrepreneurs realize they can leverage this and take the time to develop habits that help them succeed. One of the most crucial things any person can do to get productive is to plan their week ahead.
Here are a few ideas you can implement as you plan your week ahead of time.
- Plan your week around themes instead of activities
- Schedule important breaks
- Schedule time to build better work relationships
- Plan out part of your professional life
- Allocate time to build your personal brand
5. Minimize Chores or Tasks
According to research we all have a reservoir of energy andfocus that gets depleted each time we make a decision. To conserve our ability to stay energized for important decision making, you need to make regular routines that have little value, automatic.
For example take the clothes you wear. President Obama and Mark Zuckerberg are known to wear the same colored clothes in public, in order to minimize their time on trivial things like the color of clothes they wear.
Here are a few ideas to help minimize your chores and tasks:
- Break down large tasks into small parts.
- Prioritize tasks in order to get important jobs done.
- Automate or delegate tasks that do not require your personal attention.
6. Create a Morning Routine for Productivity
Research suggests that morning people are more productive than those who stay up late at night in terms of their willingness to take action. Steven Benna in this post says that research also suggests that setting your morning routine, and including a quick breakfast will help you maintain your productivity throughout the day. In fact it is a habit that seems to work well for the likes of Richard Branson and Tim Cook.
Try these ideas to create a morning routine for productivity:
- Begin with easy to handle tasks to ease into your day.
- Look at your schedule for the day and week to prioritize tasks.
- Get your essentials together so that you can remain at your desk undistracted for at least an hour.
7. Schedule Time for Networking and Meetings
Networking is essential for the successful entrepreneur, in fact it can be the lifeblood of a business due to the connections and business referrals you can get out of it. But with the business of everyday life it can often be neglected. Forbes Magazine states that you can improve your networking skills if this is an area in which you are lacking.
How can you include time to create the habit of networking and attending meetings? Here are a few tips.
- Share what you know
- Become a connector – facilitating the connection of individuals who may not know each other
- Don’t eat alone
- Network in your industry or niche
- Schedule time to network
Over to you…
While the above researched habits shine some light on ways to help your success flourish, this is not a complete list.
These habits may seem so simple that you may be tempted to dismiss them as non-essential. But as research proves those that develop good habits will find themselves ahead of the pack every week.
Do you have a favorite habit or ritual that helps you? Share with us in the comments!
Sources to credit for this info: Forbes Magazine, Psychology Today, NPR, MailMunch Services.
We also suggest reading the book Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. You can find more information on practical methods to understand and implement health habits in your professional and personal lives.