If you read any successful entrepreneurs’ biography or listen to interviews about their success secrets, you will inevitability come across the notion of good habits or rituals that help them to gain clarity, energy or productivity.
I love the science behind good habits and I am always open to trying new tools and systems. There are a few evidence-based habits that I find particularly useful and I would like to share them with you today. I have personally used them myself and fine-tuned them over time. You can make adjustments to meet your individual needs, but the concepts are clear and simple to follow.
- Adequate sleep
Everyone knows the importance of adequate sleep. Research states that adults need on average at least 7 hours of sleep and recommends going to bed before 11 pm. If you are a night owl, or work better at night, do what works for you. You need to listen to your body. Sometimes you may need more than 7 hours!
- No Snooze
When you hear your alarm clock go off, you need to get up right away. Please do not hit the snooze button and go back to sleep. If you do, you will likely to feel the effects of sleep inertia. Unless you have another 90 mins to complete a full sleep cycle, you are guaranteed to have a foggy start to your day.
Plan ahead, go to bed earlier you need to, but try to wake up with your alarm clock. Don’t hit snooze and drift off. Placing my alarm at the other end of the bedroom, forces me to get up to turn it off. This was a great help for me in the past. Now, since I want to avoid waking the family, I use the silent alarm on my Fitbit. This vibrates on my wrist and works really well.
After waking up, I get out of bed immediately. Try to stack this habit with another one such as making your favorite morning cup of tea or coffee or green shake. Have everything ready in the kitchen the night before so that you can go straight into another healthy habit. Make sure your good habits are easy and convenient so that you have a higher chance to continue to do them.
- Plan Your Day and Track Your Energy
This is really important for me. After my morning cupper, I look at my weekly planner and plan my day. I look at my top 3 priorities and Weekly To-Do List. From there, I pick one thing I want to focus on as my top project for the day and brain dump any relevant reminders into my day planner (or any note book will do!)
For me, less is more. If everything is a priority then I won’t be able to focus on the most important thing. I also like to journal how I feel about my body and mind. This is my way to track my energy level. Not everyday is the same. I pay close attention to my menstrual cycle or moon cycle as I find my creative energy and productivity respond to the cycles. Some people call this the women body wisdom, and I like to take advantage to the days I feel energized and take on less on the days that I need to rest more. This is the most essential part of a morning routine for me and it takes about 5-10 minutes.
If you would like to download my personal FREE Weekly Planner, Daily Planner, Energy Tracker and more make sure you go to my website and get it there. They are in the workbook of my FREE audio program – see the details at the end of this podcast cast/blog.
Put First Thing First
This is a habit taken from Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I will never forget the video where the presenter asked a random stranger to place a bunch of big rocks and a bag of sand into a jar. Those who put the big rocks in first and then the sand managed to fit everything in with ease. Those that started to with the sand first, were never able to put all the big rocks in after.
I know many prolific writers have completed their novels in numerous 25 minute blocks simply because they cannot find hour-long windows to write. They still manage to complete novels!
Prioritizing and completing your most important tasks first will help you avoid being overwhelmed or distracted by lesser things. This habit is the key to making progress on projects that matter to you and will lead you to the success you want.
This is a very useful and grounding habit. As the world we live in runs at such a fast pace, it is tempting to feel like we are constantly playing catch up or chasing an endless list of “more-to-dos” or accomplishments. I usually do my weekly check-in on Sunday or Monday for about 10-15 minutes. It really helps me to focus my sight on the horizon. This gives me the chance to ask myself questions and think about what are the best things to spend my time and energy on over next week.
Thinking about what you may want to stop, start or continue to do while you are in the self-reflective mode. Often, this is the step that takes you from ‘Good’ to ‘Great’.
If you have some spare time this week completing this activity may help you to work through some chaos. It can also help if parts of your life are making you feel like you are stuck or stagnating.
Pick one area of your life to start with.
- What is in your mind these days?
- What truly matters to your heart?
- What is that you want to STOP doing?
- What is that you want to START doing?
- What is that you want to CONTINUE doing?
Want more clarity, energy & productivity?
This week’s podcast is partly based on my audio program – 3 Key for More Clarity, Energy and Productivity. If you would like to learn all 3 keys and get a download of this FREE audio program (with a workbook that comes with awesome productivity worksheets too!), simply sign up to get your download.