How To Build Productive Habits

“Achieve success in any area of life by identifying the optimum strategies and repeating them until they become habits.”
~ Charles J. Givens

The most successful business owners have specific routines and habits they follow daily. Do you?

Many of them have a morning routine to start each day. It lets them think about their goals, what they want to accomplish, and focus on the things that are most important.

Running a business can be tough. Implementing routines and habits that are known to have positive outcomes can mean the difference in your own business growth. 

What are routines and habits?

Routines are activities or procedures that are performed at regular intervals or specific times. A habit is a behavior pattern acquired by frequent repetition. So, by having a routine filled with good habits, you can grow your business and be more successful. 

Habits help you be successful by forcing you to follow routines. They set you up to follow through on your goals. They give you the discipline to take action and complete tasks and to focus. They create a pattern of consistency.

But how do you get these good habits? And how do we know which habits matter the most?

That’s where this post is going to help. Today, you’ll see what good habits you should be cultivating and using in your business day to grow your business. 

I will show you how to create consistency and other habits that lead to little wins and how habits contribute to the big picture.

Let’s get started.

productive routines matter

Advantages of Good Habits

Everything we do or accomplish in life is the results of our habits. What shape you are in is the results of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are the result of your habits. Whether you are successful or not is a result of your habits.

What you do repeatedly affects your beliefs and your personality. If you want to be successful, healthier, slimmer, happier, etc., having good habits is at the core. You can set goals to reach, but if you don’t have the right habits or set up the right routines, it’s unlikely you’ll reach those goals. 

Good habits allow you to reach your goal. If for example, your goal is to lose 20 pounds, and you develop the habit of exercising 30 minutes a day, it’s likely you’ll not only reach your goal but exceed it because you’ve developed a habit you will continue doing.

A good habit is developed for life. Once you start a habit and consciously do it daily, it becomes ingrained in you for life. It’s easier to form a habit than it is to accomplish a goal. Habits are repetitive behaviors we do daily while a goal is something that we have to work toward.

Good Habits For The Big Picture

Motivation is good to have when it comes to success. But it’s not what will make you successful. Having good habits will. 

When your days are filled with habits that help you on your journey towards the big picture goal, you’ll eventually find success. 

Here are some examples of good habits of successful people:

  1. Wake up at the same time every day, preferably before 6 am every day. Create a sleep routine to help you have more energy to be able to work more during the day. 
  2. Keep your to-do list small and scaled down. Do the most important tasks first. 
  3. Use your time efficiently. Set up time blocks of no more than 2-hour sessions and focus on each task solely for that period. 
  4. Plan for and take breaks throughout the day. Walk around your office, jog in place, or do some form of exercise to keep your mind working effectively.
  5. Keep your body physically fit. Work out with a daily regime for a strong body. Challenging your body and clearing your mind prepares you for the challenges of business.
  6. Don’t hit the snooze button. Wake up and get up with the first alarm. This mindset trick makes your brain feel like you’re ahead of the game. A brighter mindset leads to confidence and success.
  7. Get enough sleep so you are well rested and alert. According to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine the optimal amount is between 7 and 9 hours each night. Anything less can cause irritability, decreased motivation, anxiety, reduced energy, fatigue, poor decision making, forgetfulness, and increase in errors. (I know I need at least 8, preferably 9, to function optimally and not be a grouch.)
  8. Get and stay organised. Make lists, set daily goals. Keep your office organised and your computer desktop organised. Get rid of clutter that distracts you from your tasks. 
  9. Keep some balance in all areas of your life. Make time for relaxation, spending time with family and friends, exercise, your emotional and spiritual needs and work. 
  10. Be grateful. Write down what you are grateful for each day.
  11. Plan your week on Sunday. Spend a few minutes planning what you need and want to accomplish during the week. Make sure the tasks align with monthly, quarterly, and annual goals, as well. 
  12. Meditate. Begin each day with some form of meditation. Focus on your breathing for 10 to 15 minutes to clear your mind so you can begin your day on a positive note. Yoga, Tai Chi and other forms of slow movement are also good for mindful thinking. 
  13. Drink lots of water. Water hydrates us, gets our muscles and body working. Lethargy and low energy are signs you are dehydrated. 
  14. Say “no” to tasks or obligations that aren’t in line with your goals. Don’t agree to take on things you don’t want to do.
  15. Set up a budget and spend wisely. But, don’t be afraid to make purchases on things that will help you grow, make work more efficient or for expansion. Invest in your business to help it grow. 

When working toward the big picture it’s important to create and perform good habits that build a strong, healthy foundation for success.

wake up erly as part of your productive routine

 

What’s Next: Implementing Your Habits

When it comes to implementing new habits, you can use a simple framework that makes it easier to keep those new habits so you can improve your daily routine.

I’m currently working through James Clear’s book Atomic Habits – and while I’m not too far in, I can already strongly recommend this book. The strategies and approaches are easy to implement, but have quite a big impact. (In particular – I love the concept of “habit stacking”).

“Atomic Habits offers a proven framework for improving–every day. James Clear, one of the world’s leading experts on habit formation, reveals practical strategies that will teach you exactly how to form good habits, break bad ones, and master the tiny behaviors that lead to remarkable results.”

That framework is the 3 R’s of changing a habit, as stated in Charles Duhigg’s, The Power of Habit:

  1. Reminder or the trigger that initiates the behavior
  2. Routine or the action you take on the behavior itself.  
  3. Reward or the positive result you get from doing the new behavior

Other ideas for changing your habits include using the if-then planning concept. This concept uses triggers that let us know it’s time to act on our habit. Pick a regular area of your daily schedule you normally do then add in a new habit. For instance, instead of “I will stay off social media while I work,” you could opt to say “I will work for x amount of time before visiting social media.”

Whatever the habits and routines are you want to implement, tailor them to your specific business and lifestyle. For instance, if you work best at night, you want to set up your most challenging tasks for that time instead of first thing in the morning. 

Once you begin implementing consistent habits into your daily schedule, you’ll be surprised by how much faster you’ll begin to grow your business and be more successful in what you do.

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