Here are eight habits my partners over at CT Homes and I have come to depend on over the course of a regular business day. While not necessarily ground breaking from an individual perspective, their cumulative impact can really make a dent in your day-to-day productivity. To that end, I encourage you to keep reading if you want to uncover the daily habits I will rely on to meet my business resolutions in 2016.
1. Wake Up Early
Waking up early is as much about your mindset, as it is about the physical prospect of getting a head start on the day. However, having said that, those that are prone to waking up early are more inclined to be more productive for two very distinct reasons: they literally have more time to accomplish tasks during the day and they will benefit from a feeling of accomplishment.
Let’s examine the first reason getting up early will help you in the pursuit of your 2016 business resolutions: more time. It should go without saying, but the more time you have to dedicate to a particular goal, the more likely it is to get done. Waking up early grants you the time you need to move forward. Time is the one thing you can never get back; so it is worth saying that the time you do have is precious. Make sure you take advantage of the time given to you in the morning, and I am sure your business will reward you accordingly.
Of particular importance, however, is the second benefit awarded to those who choose to wake up early. A lot can be said about the feelings that accompany accomplishment. They are uplifting and, in a way, contagious. Checking something off of your to do list will create momentum to piggyback off of for the rest of the day. I can assure you that momentum has helped me get to where I am today. There is no reason it couldn’t do the same for you.
2. Stay Hydrated
Again, more intuitive than groundbreaking. However, I can’t stress the importance of drinking enough water. To that end, it isn’t enough to drink water whenever you are thirsty. The key is to drink enough water to maintain a healthy metabolism. I encourage you to make a habit out of drinking water first thing every morning. After about seven to eight hours of sleep, there is a good chance your body is dehydrated before you even get out of bed. I recommend drinking at leas 16 ounces when you wake up, before you do anything else.
Even mild dehydration has been known to commonly drain people of energy and make them tired. I don’t think I have to tell you how counterproductive these things can be to realizing your business resolutions this year.
3. Eat Breakfast
Are you starting to sense a trend? Up to this point, I haven’t recommended anything you haven’t heard before. Most of the habits I will be focusing on are rather simple in nature, but I can assure you that the little things do make a big difference. Having said that, some of the most successful business owners in the world will support the notion that a healthy breakfast is one of the best ways to start your day. Studies have shown that eating a well-balanced breakfast can dramatically increase concentration and focus throughout the day.
4. Exercise Regularly
It doesn’t take a genius to understand that regular exercise has proven to coincide with several health benefits. However, there are additional benefits to working out earlier in the day for those looking to meet their business resolutions for 2016. In particular, early morning workout routines have been known to reduce stress and increase productivity. Much in the same way that accomplishing something small in the morning can create momentum to build off of for the rest of the day, exercise can do the same. Once you have accomplished something, you are more inclined to hit your next task with vigor and tenacity. According to a study out of the University of Bristol, employees who regularly engage in physical exercise during work hours are more likely to be productive than those who don’t. And that doesn’t even take into account the idea that you will miss less time from work because of your overall health. At the very least, exercising should put you in a better mood to face the rest of the day head on.
5. Make The Bed
According to Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit, making your bed in the morning has become synonymous with “better productivity, a greater sense of well-being, and stronger skills at sticking with a budget.” Of course, it is not so much making the bed that generates these habits, but rather that same feeling of accomplishment that comes with exercising and completing tasks early in the morning. While a small task, it is something you can check off your list for the day. Some experts swear by the fact that making their bed increases their level of happiness. You will never know unless you try.
6. Take Time Out For Yourself
Though the New Year is no more than a week old, it remains a beacon of hope for those looking to make big business moves. With it, comes a new reason to strive for a better self, and – in the case of this article – a better career. However, all of the goals you set for yourself will require action, and are likely going to take some hard work. The last thing you want to do is confront what could be the biggest decision you ever make with a less than diligent mindset. Having said that, I recommend taking some time out for yourself; to recharge the batteries and focus on what really matters. Something as simple as 10 minutes of stretching, meditation or some other quiet activity to set your mind at ease can go a long way in preparing you for what is to come.
7. Avoid Distractions
This one, for obvious reasons, is easier said than done. After all, the definition of a distraction is loosely based on interrupting your priorities. Unfortunately, distractions come in all shapes and sizes. Your capacity to avoid them is completely contingent on your desire to succeed, or – in this case – to meet your goals for 2016. You must fight the urge to succumb to distractions, as they will only hinder your progress. At the very least, set aside some time at the end of the day to give in to your vices, whether it is television or something else. If you designate a time of day to the things that take you away from work, there is a good chance you have already accomplished everything you needed to. That way, they aren’t so much as a distraction as they are a hobby.
8. Make A To-Do List
It has been said that visualization is a trait shared by all successful individuals. However, you don’t need to be a billionaire to visualize what it is you need to get done. In fact, I recommend creating a daily to-do list to keep your priorities in order. Literally set aside about ten minutes of your time everyday and come up with a list of things you need to accomplish. With the list in hand, prioritize what it is you need done first, second, and so on. That way you will be sure to finish the most pressing tasks at the time.