“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” - John C. Maxwell
Similar to the way creating a business website can do wonders for a business’s image, daily habits can change your life for the better. That is, by improving your ability to succeed, your mood and your health.
Like most things in life, daily habits require discipline and commitment. According to a recent study, it takes 18+ days to form a new habit. Ready to go on this journey with full power? Then you won’t want to miss the advice offered below.
Here we’ve listed 20 daily habits of successful people that can help you power your productivity:
01. Wake up early
A Harvard Business Review study found that “people whose performance peaks in the morning are better positioned for career success.” Starting your day out early allows you to devote more of it to your performance goals, and have more time for a successful routine. This can be a trip to the gym, a daily meditation, a mindful breakfast, or another one of the mentioned daily habits of successful people below.
02. Do a brief digital detox
For most of us, the first thing we do when we wake up is look at our phones. A few missed calls or texts, an Instagram feed scroll, and then we’re onto our work emails. How does that make you feel? You’ve barely taken a few breaths and you’re already thinking about work or experiencing a mixture of jealousy, FOMO, and the works.
Allowing yourself to wait at least 30 minutes after you’ve woken up before checking your phone will help you ease into the day and choose for yourself how you want to feel. That is, rather than how your social media friends or coworkers make you feel. By using an old-fashioned alarm clock in place of your smartphone just imagine the unlimited possibilities you’ll be able to start your day out with.
03. Start your day with calming music
Unlike the scene from the film Office Space where Michael Bolton is rapping on his way to work, music should put you into a soothing or productive mood. Use it as a way to wake up, ease into your day with some mindless, tranquilizing sounds, and see if your mood starts to improve. We’re sure it will immediately with the right mix!
04. Have a morning workout routine
To keep your mind active, you’ll need to keep your body active too. The morning is the ultimate time to wake up your muscles, either through some stretching, cardio, or a combination of these. Plus, you might end up ditching that morning cup of coffee when you see how energized this makes you feel.
05. Eat a healthy breakfast
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of your day. This is the optimal time to consume the most calories too, as you’ll need to stay energized throughout your day. The essential include healthy carbs, proteins, and fats. So make it a priority to not skip this vital meal.
Meditation is the practice of training your attention and awareness and calming your mind by drawing your focus away from thoughts that cloud your judgement. Even just 10 to 15 minutes each morning can have a huge impact on your day. Like a digital detox, it allows you to step away from the busyness and complexity of life in order to tackle your day with much more ease.
07. Keep a daily journal
Keeping a journal can easily become a productive habit. It can allow you to slow down and reflect on your day, set up goals for yourself, and grow into a more successful person. One example we’ve tried is ‘morning pages,’ a task from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. It involves emptying your mind of conscious morning thoughts in three handwritten pages in order to clear it of cluttered thinking and start your day with focus and clarity.
08. Practice gratitude
It’s no secret that happy people are more successful people. And according to a Harvard Medical School study on positive psychology, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. How do you do it? You can write your graces in a journal, say them aloud, pray, meditate, or choose your own path. There are many ways to do this, and none of them are wrong.
09. Choose three goals to prioritize daily
Oftentimes our to-do lists are often hefty and we end our days feeling unaccomplished, as we’ve never made it to the end with a completed one. If that’s the case for you, try reframing this mentality by just focusing on three of those tasks each day. Then, tackle these items first.
If other tasks come up before you’ve had the chance to complete these, know that sometimes it’s absolutely okay to just say “no.” You only have so much time in a day and you need to focus on getting ahead, rather than dealing with distractions. Consider delegating those less vital tasks to someone else who is able to help in order to improve your productivity.
10. Read up on your industry
Whether you choose to set up a Google alert for particular keywords, subscribe to a handful of your favorite newsletters, or turn your favorite blog, it’s important to stay in the know. This will allow you to keep up with current and major themes, such as marketing trends, graphic design trends and photography trends.
11. Consume motivational content
Frequently we are so wrapped up in our daily to-dos that we are far from future focused. Yet, the most successful people (from small business owners to CEOs of major companies) are always envisioning their dreams and aspirations coming to life. It’s fun, it’s fulfilling, and therefore definitely worth doing, and of course, a key ingredient of entrepreneurship (for more, see how to become an entrepreneur). If you aren’t sure what those are for yourself, consider listening to some motivational podcasts, reading inspirational blogs or other types of encouraging content.
12. Surround yourself with optimistic people
We’ve all heard a version of the saying, “you are a combination of the people you surround yourself with the most.” It is in fact true! It’s known that people impact each others’ moods. If you spend your day complaining about your workload with your coworkers, you’re not going to feel good about yourself.
If your closest companions are genuinely happy and excited, this will certainly rub off on you. And when you’re at your best, it can only heighten your chances of being successful at work and in the other parts of your life.
13. Block out “fake meetings” in your calendar
Set aside time in your calendar to stay busy, or to focus on specific tasks. This will ensure that no one schedules a meeting with you during those hours. It will also allow you to have time to actually get your work done, rather than answer a boat load of emails and attend meetings all day. On the same note, try to make sure that when you host or attend them, you run effective meetings that value everybody's time and input.
14. Pencil in time to relax
Of course it’s important to be productive, but you should also allow your brain and body to have time to recharge. Consider setting up relaxation moments as little rewards throughout your day. For example, try focusing for one hour, then taking five minutes to read an inspiring article or go for a short walk and grab water. This will prevent the burnout and enable you to think clearer throughout your day. Whether your stress is coming from the pressures of starting a business, or running one in the day to day - making time for yourself is important.
15. Be more health conscious
Healthy living has a huge impact on your day-to-day life, from your ability to focus to your level of overall energy to whether or not you're able to perform at your best. Beyond your food choices, health also has to do with your sleep schedule, your stress level and so much more. If you aren’t sure you know how to take action, consider working with a health coach, reading up on the latest health trends, or even just drinking an adequate amount of water each day and working out.
16. Move your body throughout the day
So maybe you’ve found that you simply don’t have the time to workout before or after work. That’s still no excuse to get moving. Actually, taking five minutes here and there throughout your day for brisk walks or stretching sessions will make you more productive the moment you come back. You can even walk during phone meetings if you can’t find any other moment away from your work. Not only will this make you more successful, but this is one of the many ways to destress while you work.
17. Keep your space organized and clean
A clean space coincides with a clean mind. From your office desk to your home, you’re more likely to feel productive and level headed if you aren’t sorting through the clutter and messes. Each day, make time to do your dishes, wipe your dusty keyboard, and organize your space and to do list. This only takes a few minutes, and it’s guaranteed to jet set your productivity. In addition, it’s worthwhile to have a weekly habit of doing a deep clean of your space too.
18. Be social more often
Taking the time to grab coffee or lunch with coworkers, going out of your way to attend work-based networking events, or chatting with a friend you haven’t talked to in a while can do wonders for both your mood and overall success. Whether the topics surround work or fun, this is far from “wasted time” with office chatter like you may think and helps contribute to a positive company culture.
For one, making friends will allow you to trust others, enjoy your job more and, if needed, have a support system to help you handle overwhelming tasks. And on the other side, our world works in a way where more often than not opportunities arise from who we know, over what we’re capable of.
19. Make time for self-care
Whether it’s a face mask, a cup of chamomile tea, taking a few deep breaths, or booking the occasional massage, self-care is extremely important to your health. You owe it to your overall well-being to take time for you and love yourself. It can be something as short as five minutes per day where you treat yourself too - but let’s be honest, the more the merrier.
20. Sleep long enough
Among the daily habits of successful people, this is one of the most important ones. Sleep is the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves. Without enough sleep, not only will you feel the burnout, but you’ll continue to work slower and slower. Imagine the impact this will have on your ability to be productive. Sleep helps us reset like nothing else. Most adults require a healthy dose of 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Habits to avoid to be a successful person
Developing successful habits and avoiding counterproductive ones is crucial for achieving your goals and living a fulfilling life. Here are some habits to avoid to increase your chances of success:
Procrastination: Putting off tasks until the last minute leads to stress, poor performance and missed opportunities. Instead, develop a habit of tackling important tasks early and consistently.
Negative self-talk: Engaging in negative self-talk can erode your confidence and hinder your progress. Challenge negative thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations that reinforce your strengths and capabilities.
Seeking perfection: Striving for perfection can lead to frustration and paralysis. Instead, focus on making consistent progress and learning from your mistakes. Embrace imperfection as a part of the growth process.
Fear of failure: Fear of failure can hold you back from taking risks and pursuing your dreams. Embrace failure as an opportunity for learning and improvement. View setbacks as stepping stones towards success.
Lack of planning: Without proper planning, you're more likely to get lost and make unproductive choices. Set clear goals, develop a plan to achieve them and break down large tasks into smaller, manageable steps.
Comparing yourself to others: Comparing yourself to others can lead to feelings of inadequacy and discouragement. Focus on your own journey and celebrate your accomplishments, regardless of what others are doing.
Multitasking: While it may seem efficient, multitasking often leads to decreased productivity and increased errors. Focus on one task at a time and give it your full attention.
Lack of sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for physical and mental well-being. Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night to enhance your focus, creativity and overall functioning.
Unhealthy diet: A poor diet can negatively impact your energy levels, focus and overall health. Make nutritious choices and avoid excessive consumption of processed foods and sugary drinks.
Lack of exercise: Regular physical activity is crucial for maintaining physical and mental health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.
By avoiding these habits and cultivating positive ones, you can set yourself up for success in all aspects of your life. Remember, success is a journey, not a destination. Embrace the process, learn from your experiences and never stop growing.