The most successful people share a striking number of similar habits. Regardless of whether they’re the CEO of a technology startup, or a passionate educator, their reoccurring patterns of behavior often pave the way to ongoing levels of achievement. Below are seven habits that hugely successful people use to maximize productivity, effectiveness and success – by following them, you can also catapult yourself further, faster towards achieving your own personal or professional goals.
According to Basex, a management science company, it’s estimated that distractions cost U.S. businesses $588 billion per year, a number that continues to grow. Besides costing businesses billions in resources, these sneaky time consumers undermine concentration and can make it hard to stay focused on a task or consistently follow important train of thought. Learning to ignore these nuisances can help you create less stress, improve productivity, and enjoy a happier workday, so put your phone away, log out of your social media accounts, and close your office door during your most productive hours. If you’re not quite sure which distractions eating up your day, try tracking what you do each hour by creating a running diary for two to three weeks to find out.
Get Enough Rest
Productivity can suffer if you don’t feel your best, and one of the most important factors of feeling up to par is maintaining a consistent sleep schedule. Getting enough rest is one of the easiest things you can do to revitalize your mental clarity, passion and energy. The National Sleep Foundation states that there’s no magic number when determining the right amount of sleep needed, but studies show that those who get 7 hours of sleep a night are far more productive. Research dating back decades also shows a marked decline in productivity after a typical 40-hour workweek – anything more produces diminishing returns. So be sure to take breaks, rest, and recharge: It may vastly improve your creativity, productivity and output.
Follow a Morning Ritual
By doing the same things every day when you wake up, you’re letting your mind focus on the bigger tasks at hand. Plus, establishing a routine of getting up and getting active first thing in the morning is a great way to start the day with a blast of energy. Research shows that a little exercise each day not only keeps you in shape, but the endorphins you’ll experience can boost your mood. A steamy shower every morning also tends to wake up and revitalize you when you’re fresh from sleep.
Prioritizing the Day
Hugely successful people have a daily agenda that helps visualize what they would like to accomplish that day. It’s an easy way to give them a sense of work balance since they can see exactly what’s on their plate, as well as help them focus and mentally prepare for the challenges that they’ll be facing. Mimic their behavior by creating a daily “to-do list” of your own. Also, try reading through your goals before falling asleep, so your mind can subconsciously work on ways to solve them while you sleep.
Take Care of Yourself
You may have heard successful men and women say, “I work hard but I also play hard.” These folks are well aware that it simply isn’t possible to operate at full speed every waking hour. They know that taking time for yourself is one of the biggest steps in avoiding work burnout. Try relaxing a little each day and use your free time to indulge in something you truly enjoy. Taking care of yourself also means eating a healthy diet, which includes breakfast, to fuel your body and mind for the challenges ahead. Staying organized both in the office and at home eliminates stress and is another way to take care of yourself.
Dress for Success
Dressing well doesn’t mean having the latest designer clothes or the most expensive suits. It means taking pride in your appearance by wearing clothes that are pressed, clean and appropriate for the atmosphere you’re in. Since appearance is something that can make or break a first impression, knowing that you look good can give you a confidence boost that will help you feel your best.
Put First Things First
Not all hours are created equal and successful people account for this when they strategize their time. Whether you function best in the early morning hours or late in the afternoon, use your peak performance hours to knock out harder tasks and bring you closer to your goals. Save the trivial emails for a time when you’re not exactly ready to move mountains. Get the most important tasks done first – the rest will seem trivial by comparison. These important tasks should be tackled while you’re at your freshest, most awake, and best.