Let me be honest with you…every day I struggle with these points. Being an entrepreneur is hard. It requires constant discipline and confidence in yourself. It won’t be the right path for a lot of people. But for those determined few who can find a way to make it work, entrepreneurship is the most rewarding job, lifestyle, and identity in the world.
If you want to get a head start on building those crucial habits all entrepreneurs need or reaffirm them for yourself, keep reading.
1. Create a routine
Make sure you do the same things every morning and night. That could involve things such as the following:
- Wake up
- Wash face/brush teeth
- Eat breakfast
Your evening routing could include things like journaling and preparing for tomorrow.
Successful entrepreneurs build daily, weekly and monthly routines to keep them grounded, consistent, productive, and happy. Entrepreneurship can be stressful and you’ll find stable routines become your foundation on which you structure your life.
2. Start your day with the hardest tasks
Ever heard the phrase “Eat the Frog”? Essentially, it means when you’re freshest early in the day, start with your most frustrating, grueling or procrastination inducing task.
This has so many benefits because it:
- Makes every other task seem easier by comparison
- Gives you a rush of accomplishing something worthwhile
- Prevents you from procrastinating on important tasks for too long
So keep on reading this, but the second you’ve finished go and eat the frog. It’ll make the rest of your day feel like a breeze.
3. Workout or meditate
Routines are easy to follow when life is simple. But when you’re anxious or stressed about something, you get “busy”. Your morning routine goes out of the window as you try and create time or space for yourself. But this just makes things worse. You become irritable, you feel sluggish and you end up being less productive overall even with the “extra” time.
Don’t make excuses. Fitness and mental calm are crucial for a happy lifestyle. They’re building blocks of productivity that last for the rest of your life. Being a vibrant member of your community into your old age means putting in that little bit of daily effort towards your health. Find something that works for you and make it habitual by keeping yourself accountable.
4. Plan tomorrow, today
As part of your evening routine, make a list of your tasks for the following day and plan how everything will be chained together. This means you can get ready for tomorrow when you’re awake and alert, instead of waking up on the day feeling groggy and tired.
Give this a shot tonight and you’ll find it takes a lot less time than you thought. It’ll give you some understanding about tomorrow that you didn’t have before and it helps you catch things you may have missed.
5. Align yourself with your priorities
The common way of doing this is goal setting, so set them and frequently refer to them to keep the bigger picture of your work in focus. But set goals that are most important to you and don’t be afraid to move them around if the situation in your life changes. That’s the power of goal setting systems. They give you space for what matters.
6. Keep track of your progress
A great way to do this is with a daily journal. Now while I prefer a lot of digital technology, I find typing up my thoughts much less relaxing than writing them hand-free. I also find that I don’t think through my thoughts as much as when I’m writing by hand.
Find a system for yourself that works. Keeping track of your days, weeks, months, thoughts, ideas, dreams, and perceptions is crucial to staying grounded in your own life. Make time to understand your own experiences. If you’ve never kept a journal before, please try it. You’ll find it’s a really enjoyable way to end your day and the benefits will ripple throughout your life, both professionally and personally.
7. Make time for your community
We each have our own distinct communities. They include people you love spending time with socially and the people who enrich your life. It’s both a responsibility to them as well to ourselves to make sure we stay connected to them on an ongoing basis. You might find in your life, if you get busy and stop being present emotionally and intellectually with your family, you’re far more prone to become detached or burned out. These people we cherish are so essential to our happiness. It’s a shame how easy it is to stop giving them the time they deserve.
Recognize who your community is and make it a priority to be engaged, empathetic and present with each of them at least once a week.
8. Encourage your team
No matter what sort of entrepreneur you are, you have some sort of team backing up your success. Your team is whoever you’re directly connected to in your professional life who you in some way rely on.
Make time to encourage these people, do check-ins and make sure they’re aligned with their goals. Ensure they’re developing both personally and professionally. Ask questions and dive deep into what they dream about. This stuff matters and the leaders who make an impact and change the world know that they are the their team, and can only succeed if their team does.
9. Prioritize deep work
This is a concept from Cal Newport that I love. The most impactful entrepreneurs find time each day for working deeply on their most important objectives. Deep work is the product of your time spent working on the most important hurdles towards achieving your goals, multiplied by the depth of focus you can bring to working on it.
High-Quality Work Produced = (Time Spent) x (Intensity of Focus)
Knowing what that task is comes from point 2 in this list and eating the frog. But being able to bring your deepest level of focus to the task is another skill entirely. You need to cultivate your workspace to eliminate distracting colors and objects. It requires ignoring email, social media, and shallow work like ordering that thing you definitely need now on Amazon. Those small tasks should be done at the end of your working day, once your willpower is used up and you’re tired and have accomplished what you needed to do.
Try to track how much time you actually spend working deeply and if you’re surprised at the number, take action to change it for the better. You’ll find a level of productivity you didn’t realize you were capable of.
10. Schedule some learning daily
Entrepreneurs need to continuously learn. The world is constantly changing and the most impactful entrepreneurs develop their knowledge on a consistent basis. Every day I make time for learning through reading books, doing exercises and listening to podcasts. Through that small investment of time daily, my skills and understanding have advanced by miles.
Look into your future goals and identify what skills or capabilities may be potential roadblocks for you. Start learning today to be ready for those challenges. No matter what you feel is most important, everyone has some subject they could stand to learn more about. And more understanding about the world is always going to be a competitive advantage for you. Think of it as a small investment today that pays dividends for the rest of your life.
You may have noticed something in these entrepreneurship skills. None of them are really about business. The most successful entrepreneurs are the ones who can commit to realizing change in the world and commit to what it takes to see that change through.
In the end, the only real success is personal success. Now go out there and do it.
Originally published on GenTwenty.
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