1. Time Management
Time is treated as the most essential and highly valuable asset of successful people. The adage “time is money” rings true, and therefore, time is not wasted. The most important part of goal setting for successful entrepreneurs is proper use of time and the first step is to get rid of to do lists! Yes, you heard that right! NO TO DO LISTS! Kevin Kruse of Extreme Productivity notes that “Ultra-productive people don’t work from a to-do list, but they do live and work from their calendar.”
Everything is scheduled each day so that the task is accounted for. If the task is not on the calendar and scheduled, then the task won’t get done. When Kevin Kruse interviewed Chris Ducker, a successful entrepreneur, he said “I simply put everything on my schedule. That’s it. Everything I do on a day-to-day basis gets put on my schedule. 30-minutes of social media–on the schedule. 45-minutes of email management–on the schedule. Catching up with my virtual team–on the schedule…Bottom line, if it doesn’t get scheduled it doesn’t get done.” For Kevin Kruse, thinking of time in terms of minutes is essential to preserving time and properly managing it. He thinks in minutes–1440 minutes (the number of minutes in a 24 hour period) and he schedules tasks in 15-30-60 minute increments. There is also an art to scheduling your time–you must figure out your “Most Important Task (MIT)” of the day. The most important tasks receive priority in the calendar, and the rest are subsequently scheduled.
2. Fitness & Self Care
Mental and physical wellness is essential in maintaining & increasing productivity throughout the day. Prioritizing fitness and self care as part of your lifestyle will ultimately produce good habits. This consistent commitment to your health, and treating it as a major priority as any of your business transactions is crucial in good habit forming. You must schedule time for “yourself” each day and commit to it! Part of proper time management is ensuring that your most valuable tasks are handled before anything else, and your mental and physical health should be just as important. In Charles Duhig’s book of “The Power of Habits”, he notes that “at the core of that education is an intense focus on an all-important habit: willpower. Dozens of studies show that willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.” I was impressed at the number of successful entrepreneurs that preached the importance of a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, and they harnessed their will-power by taking the first step in proper habit forming.
For mental health, it is crucial to practice the daily use of affirmations. Affirmations have proven to assist with positive self esteem and helps push positive thoughts. Dr. Carmen Garra, a best selling author and clinical psychologist put together a list of 35 affirmations that you can use daily. We’ve picked out 5 from her list. A blank journal for only writing your affirmations is highly recommended:
- I am the architect of my life; I build its foundation and choose its contents.
- My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.
- I am superior to negative thoughts and low actions.
- I forgive those who have harmed me in my past and peacefully detach from them.
- I possess the qualities needed to be extremely successful.
3. Early Mornings
The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod is regarded as “the most life changing books ever written”. So many entrepreneurs have made references to this book as having changed the course of their business in a positive way. Mr. Elrod lists 6 things he does as part of his daily morning routine, and part of this is waking up early in the morning. Jeff Sanders’ “5AM Miracle” notes a step by step guide to dominating your day before breakfast. The way in which you spend your mornings defines the rest of your day. If you do not wake up with an intention, you lose out and your status quo stays stagnant.
This is quite possibly the most difficult habit to start. Some entrepreneurs have admitted to failed attempts at meditation, but once there is a breakthrough, it is the most rewarding! There are several free online resources that offer tips on successful meditation.
5. Planning Ahead
Goal setting and planning ahead is essential in staying on track of tasks. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail as it is very easy to get off track. Successful entrepreneurs utilize resources such as calendars, planners, apps etc to stay ahead and stay on track. Some set yearly goals, then break it down to monthly, weekly and daily. This is also another way you can keep yourself accountable for tasks that are incomplete.