If you want achievement in life, then a key trait you need is discipline. That’s because accomplishing monumental things means that you have to be consistent. You must do what’s right over-and-over again. Even when what you’re doing is hard. Let’s use exercise as an example. What’s the difference between athletes and lazy people? Athletes work out even when they don’t feel like it. They practice good daily habits. No matter what you do in life, you must practice good daily habits. Otherwise, you’ll never live up to your potential. Your consistent habits will bring balance to your life. They will also put you on the path towards success. Here are 17 daily habits that successful executives practice to stay ahead.
1) Plan out your days.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Failing to plan equals planning to fail.” Like executive delegates tasks with to employees, you should do the same for yourself. Make sure that every moment of your day matters. This will allow you to spend time on things that are pushing progress. You can’t afford to get distracted with time wasters like responding to emails that aren’t important. Be specific with the time you’re setting aside. Projects. Meetings. Planning. Brainstorming. Checking email. Even personal tasks like working out or spending time with your kids. Plan everything out in advance. Be as specific as possible. You risk failure when you don’t have thought out plans. Plan your day the night before. This will free up time in the morning and you’ll be waking up with a purpose.
2) Read goals out-loud or say positive affirmations every morning.
Begin your days with positivity and purpose. You can do this by writing down some of your goals every night. Next, you can begin your mornings by reading the goals out-loud to yourself. This will give you confidence and remind yourself of your mission. You can also do this with positive affirmations. What’s are positive affirmations? They are positive statements that help you overcome negative thoughts. The more you repeat them, the more you believe them. This leads to positive change. For example, you can say, “I am a great salesperson who helps my clients improve their lives.” Statements like these will remind you that you have a purpose and will set up a productive day. Whether it’s reading goals or affirmations aloud, positive self-talk matters. It does wonders for the human psyche.
3) Get up early and put things in motion.
Successful people don’t sound around in bed for 45 minutes. They set their alarms early so they can make the most of every minute of their days. You’ll be more confident and productive for the rest of the day if you start your days on a mission. Your morning routine should position you for success. But you can’t be inconsistent. It’s best to stick to your morning routine 7 days a week. Your body will get used to your schedule and there will be fewer mornings feeling like you don’t have energy. The earlier you wake up, the more time you’ll have in your day to reach your goals. For example, if you wake up 30 minutes earlier every day for one year, you’ll have 5,475 extra hours in your year!
Many successful people read. That’s because they want to learn as much information as possible. That information may improve your life. Buy some books that have to do with your career or your goals. Don’t feel like picking up a book? That’s okay. There are millions of free online articles for you to read. The more you read, the more knowledge you’ll have that will fuel your journey towards success.
5) Get rid of distractions.
Thanks to technology, there are more distractions in our lives than ever before. But you’re not powerless. You can take action and do away with distractions. For example, say you find yourself wasting time on social media every day. You can uninstall your social media apps from your phone Monday through Friday. You can then reward yourself by checking your social media on weekends. Or, you can take the less extreme option. You can turn off social media notifications on your phone. Think about it. Do you need to know whenever someone likes your picture or status? Fewer distractions mean more productivity every day.
6) Make your commute matter.
You don’t have to sit in your car listening to songs that you hardly even like. Instead, you can plan out your day. Or you can think and visualize what you’ll soon be working on. You can also use the time to learn relevant information to your life or career. Listen to podcasts or audiobooks that can offer you some sort of advice or guidance.
7) Don’t leave emails unread.
Successful people remove all the clutter from their lives. Clutter isn’t only physical. It can be electronic. It’s easy to let things like unread emails pile up. But you’ll end up wasting hours checking them. Not mention, you can feel anxious when you haven’t done simple tasks like checking your emails. Make an effort to read every email as soon you get it. Then, decide whether it’s worth replying to. If not, delete it and move on. Or, you can set aside 15 minutes a day to read and respond to emails. This way, you’re not glancing at your phone all the time to check your inbox.
8) Limit your number of meetings and briefings.
Sometimes meetings are necessary for your own benefit or the benefit of your company. But oftentimes, they are a time-waster. People in meetings sometimes provide information that everyone’s already aware of. The same goes for briefings. When you do have an upcoming meeting, send an update ahead of time. Ensure it puts everyone on the same page. This is so the purpose of the meeting will be finding solutions instead of wasting time.
9) Don’t second-guess yourself.
It’s human nature to procrastinate making decisions. It’s also human nature to worry about negative actions taking place. These are both giant time wasters. It’s best to make decisions as soon as possible. It should be a quick two-step process. Step one: get the important facts. Step two: make the decision. This will allow you to have more time left in your day. Even simple decisions such as what you’re going to wear the next day should get figured out at night before bed. Again, you’ll free up more time. Remember, time is money and money is time. Don’t let decision-making or worrying stop you from maximizing your revenue.
10) Make generating revenue a top priority.
Successful people always have revenue on their minds. The more that you think of revenue, the less time you’ll spend on useless activities. Focus on the benefit of your bank account. Whether you’re part of a startup in its early stages or you run a Fortune 500 company, revenue matters. Keep this next sentence in mind with your daily habits: If it doesn’t make dollars, it doesn’t make sense. The more you think about revenue, the more likely you’ll be to become rich and successful.
11) Keep up with the world.
When you only focus on your job or industry, you risk having tunnel vision. You don’t want to miss the forest for the trees. Successful people are well-rounded and aware of the world around them. Carve out a few minutes every day to read up on news and current events. You never know what may spark your creativity. You may develop new ideas that you shouldn’t have thought of on your own.
12) Eat dinner with your family every night and don’t allow phones at the table.
The burden of being a successful person is having to spend a lot of time away from one’s family. Business is time-consuming. But you are not powerless. Plan out your day so that you get to spend at least an hour with your loved ones. Limit electronics so that you can focus on them. Family is a great reminder of why you’re working so hard in the first place. You want to give them a great life.
13) Work at night.
The nighttime is the best time to give yourself a head start for the next day. Once your family has gone to bed, spend an hour or two workings by yourself. You’ll find yourself finishing tasks that you thought you didn’t have time for. You’ll also get started on tomorrow’s work. Not only will you have more time the next day for business, but you’ll also have time for personal tasks. Whether it’s working out or spending time with your family, you’ll cherish the extra hours in your day.
14) Leave your phone in another room while you sleep.
You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true: you need sleep. You can’t afford to feel sluggish the next day. You’ve got to let your body recharge. While doing so, charge your phone in another room. Having your phone away from you will make you feel less anxious, which will allow you to fall asleep faster. Not to mention, light rom electronics can keep you awake. Not having the phone next to you will make you much less likely to over-work yourself into the wee hours of the night.
15) Be persistent and consistent.
Both of these terms mean that you have to train yourself to focus every day. Great ideas mean nothing if you don’t have the strength to make them an actionable reality. You’ve got to be on a mission. When you wake up, have the aggressive mentality of grabbing the bull by the horns every day. When you’re on a mission, you won’t let distractions waste your time. Decide what goal matters most to you and stick to it until it’s achieved. By doing so, you’ll be persistent and consistent.
16) Knock out the hardest projects first.
People generally have more energy in the morning. Use that energy to your advantage. Do your hardest tasks at the beginning of your days. When you make your to-do list for the next day, put the most challenging project at the top of your list. Once you do it the next morning, you’ll be full of confidence. That confidence will serve as fuel to knock out the rest of your tasks for the day.
17) Stay flexible.
None of these daily habits are going to make your life perfect. That’s impossible. Even the most successful people in the world encounter setbacks and road bumps. That’s why you should try to remain flexible throughout every day. Otherwise, you’re going to always be angry that your day isn’t going as you planned. It’s good to get organized. But it’s bad to get organized to the point that you become rigid. Flexibility will allow you to remain energized and excited about each day. You’ll be more likely to achieve success.
Try experimenting with these daily habits. You don’t need to put all in place at once. Begin with the ones that you feel will give you the best chance to succeed. You may end up loving some. You may end up realizing you don’t need some. Yet, you’ll be working towards setting yourself up for prosperity. Adopt some of these tips so that you can enjoy positive changes. Be persistent. Be consistent. Next thing you know, you’ll be successful.