Some of the most successful people in the world swear by following a daily routine and building positive habits. When you focus your attention on building positive work habits, you’ll notice things start to change. You’ll be able to communicate better, tasks will feel less overwhelming and you’ll be able to approach problems with a clear mind.
Sometimes building a small habit takes a lot of focus and effort, but it’s well worth it for the success of your future. Here, 15 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share the positive work habits they have been cultivating and how those habits have helped them be more successful leaders.
1. Listen to Others
I’ve been an entrepreneur since the age of 13 and it is a journey of vision and hard work. The most positive work habit is being able to listen to others because that is not something that everyone is ready to do. Open the mind to information and let it flow in. From there, one can pick what they feel is useful. Otherwise, play hard, work hard.
2. Invest in Yourself
Investing in yourself and your own toolkit is key to ongoing success. While tasks and projects will take up a majority of your time (or all of it), it’s important to keep motivated by learning something new. We are learners by nature, and learning something new in your industry or even outside your industry can help spark ideas about your own business.
3. Schedule Your Time
After becoming an entrepreneur, I have cultivated one habit that I feel proud of, and that habit is scheduling my time. Every entrepreneur has one common problem of time. With a lot going on, sometimes you don’t know where the time went and you find yourself suddenly at the end of the day. To avoid this cycle, I schedule every hour of my time and try to maximize my productivity in the given time.
4. Strike a Work-Life Balance
Since becoming an entrepreneur, I’ve learned how to better manage my time by scheduling and setting reminders for things. Managing things like meetings, events, self-care and also time with friends and family has become a priority. I’ve learned the true meaning of work-life balance by being constantly challenged to juggle entrepreneurship with my personal life.
5. Focus on Monotasking
I’ve learned how important it is to focus on one task at a time and not multitask. Doing one thing at a time is the key to completing everything on my to-do list.
6. Prioritize Your Tasks
One positive work habit I have built since becoming an entrepreneur is prioritizing my tasks. Prioritizing what’s important and needs more focus helps me become more efficient in my work. It also helps me strike the right balance between my personal and professional life.
7. Communicate Regularly
I like sending a monthly leadership message letting people know what’s exciting and what’s new and giving an overall update of the business. It helps them stay connected to what’s going on. I also really like meeting with each of my employees on a regular basis so they know I care.
8. Become a Morning Person
Since becoming an entrepreneur, I’ve shifted into a morning person. While it’s not necessary as a business owner, I’ve found that the mornings are the perfect time for me to work on my business as I have the most motivation and get more done.
9. Be Open to Change
One positive work habit that I have built as an entrepreneur is to be open and flexible to changes. This helps you accept the changes easily and work accordingly if things don’t turn out as expected.
10. Make Time to Read
Since becoming an entrepreneur, an important work habit I’ve built is reading more. I love to read, but being a full-time business owner can make it difficult to make time for what you enjoy. Prioritizing reading, especially about entrepreneurship, has helped me become a better leader so I can direct my team in the best manner possible.
11. Use a To-Do List
My to-do list is written out rather than on an app because I like having a doc in front of me to work off. It is categorized by importance and there are time frames as well for each task. It’s helped me succeed because, now that I’m used to it, without question each and every one of my workdays are 100 percent productive and I also have more free time as a result.
12. Exercise Every Day
I make time to exercise every day. I know that many people will tell you that exercise is good for your health, but I think it’s also good for your career. For me, exercise is my creative outlet. It’s a way to clear my head and think about the work I’m doing. It helps me strengthen my mind and body, and I feel that this healthy balance has contributed greatly to my success as an entrepreneur.
13. Maintain a Daily Journal
Since becoming an entrepreneur, my mindset has become both more focused and more positive thanks to daily journaling. Each Monday I begin my week by writing out my schedule in my planner (in addition to my electronic calendar) and reflecting on what I’m grateful for from the prior week. I find that looking back to emphasize the positives allows me to move forward with a renewed mindset and energy.
14. Learn How to Say ‘No’
One positive work habit I needed to learn early was how to say “no.” When you first step up as an entrepreneur, you’re going to want to do everything you can to make everyone happy. The truth is, you can only stretch yourself so far before you hit a metaphorical wall. Learn when to say “no,” and always keep your word when you tell someone you will do something.
15. Take Sleep Seriously
When my business first started to take off, I thought working 16-plus hour days was just the price you pay to be a successful entrepreneur. In reality, the 24-hour hustle isn’t productive nor sustainable. Not only does it have a negative impact on every aspect of your life, but it’s also bad for business. Focusing on building a regular sleep routine — without using an alarm — is a game-changer.
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.