I’ve polled countless executives and entrepreneurs about the things they’re doing every day which help them succeed, and typically they credit simple daily routines which have been proven over time to give them an edge. Check out these quotes from 10 high-achieving individuals who share the habits which help them get ahead in business and life.
1. Move your body
“Literally move your body, whether it’s taking time to work out or a quick walk around the block after lunch. I’m more bookish than athletic, but as I’ve had to learn to manage myself along with my business, I’ve found that even a little bit of exercise gives me extra energy and a more positive outlook. Plus, there’s something about a simple walk that gives your brain time to sort through and resolve problems.”
2. Get inspired by reading something inspiring
“It’s easy to sometimes get trapped in monotonous work or life patterns which can affect your mood and overall performance. When that happens, read something uplifting. If I’m dragging or feeling uninspired, I try to reset my attitude by reading a book that I find inspiring to give me a boost or just break the cycle of scheduled sameness.”
3. Give yourself time to relax
“Take an hour at the end of every day to decompress and unwind. Not only will you get to relieve the day’s stress, but you’ll give yourself the chance to really absorb everything you learned during the day and evaluate your next steps. Entrepreneurs – myself included – tend to be workaholics, but it’s important to take a break from the grind and let yourself breathe. Your business can only be in good shape if you are, too.
4. Create a sense of calm.
“Creating a sense of calm each day helps me to set goals, prioritize and reflect. Whether this means waking up early for a yoga class or practicing breathing and meditation on my morning commute, I have found that even five minutes can make a difference. This habit has allowed me to be more engaged, thoughtful and ultimately make better decisions in both my work and personal life.”
5. Start your day with meditation.
“I’ve been meditating for a few years now, first thing after waking up each morning. It’s made a huge difference to me and to the people around me. Focusing on your breathing, just for 10 to 15 minutes in the morning gets you into a mindset where you’re better able to step back from the thoughts and emotions that might cloud your thinking. Through mindfulness, you are able to approach situations with much more clarity to better focus on what’s really important and prioritize your time accordingly, both professionally and personally.”
6. Walk while talking on the phone.
“Walking around the neighborhood while I’m on even the most important phone calls is key to energizing me and being a creative problem solver in the moment. I’m sure there’s some physiological science behind it (hence walking desks), but walking outside and talking is key to keeping me sane during the day. It also helps being in El Segundo and having plenty of parks and neighborhoods to stroll through.”
7. Make a list of goals for improvement.
“I keep a running list of goals for improvement in the back of my daily notebook. It makes me more conscious of where I can do better. Before major meetings and presentations, I run through the list to make sure I’ve internalized relevant points, and afterwards I’ll run through any feedback with my co-founder or, if available, watch a recording of the presentation to add new goals to the list.”
8. Pick three things to do each day
“Running a business can be quite overwhelming, with the work truly never ending. When you have a lot to do, my philosophy is to just pick 3 things to do each day. Do those three things first in the morning, and then wherever the rest of your day takes you, you know at least you’re progressing and have accomplished what you needed to.”
9. Write down your gratitude
“First thing when I wake up, I write down three things I have to be grateful for, three things that would make that day great, and one daily affirmation. Right before I go to sleep, I write down three amazing things that happened that day and answer the question: ‘How could I have made today better?’ The daily practice of writing down what I have to be grateful for, and reflecting upon who I want to become, helps me rewire my brain and improve my happiness.”
10. Pay attention to details
“Refuse to cut any corners when it comes to ingredients or any aspect of the manufacturing process. While many have told me that my attention to detail is counterproductive, I feel that it has been very helpful with growing sales and ultimately earning customer confidence. Basically, I have depended upon my inner voice regardless of trends and well-intentioned advice that did not feel right to me. Go with your gut and don’t deviate from your brand’s mission.”
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