Regardless what path in life you’re on, your habits will dictate your success. They can empower you to achieve your goals just as easily as they can derail you. That said it’s just as important to focus on maintaining good habits as it is to rid yourself of the bad ones. In this article we’ll cover seven habits that will help you lead a more successful and productive life
Be an Early Riser
The mornings are the only time of the day you truly have to yourself. That said you should try your best to wake up as early as possible. The typical workday starts at 9:00am. Most people start checking emails and engaging with others around 7:30am. So how early should you get up?
Some of the most successful entrepreneurs are able to get themselves out of bed at 5:00am everyday. This gives them enough time for deep thinking that would otherwise be distracted by others.
Create a Morning Routine
Along with waking up in the wee hours of the morning you should also strive to develop and follow a morning routine. To live a productive life you need to be consistent. If you consistently start your day off on the right track you’ll have a huge leg up every single day.
Categorize Your Tasks
Whether you use a to do list or a calendar application you should always categorize your tasks. I use two main buckets: urgent and important but not urgent. Schedule your day around which tasks need to be handled first. If you notice yourself putting certain tasks lower on the list of priorities then they may eventually fall into the unimportant bucket.
Your goal is to rid yourself of the “time wasters” throughout your day. It’s hard to identify these at first but the more you categorize the better you’ll be at identifying what is and isn’t important.
Write Down Your Thoughts
Everyone takes a little time out of their day to daydream. Those are also the times when you come up with some of the best ideas. More often than not however, people don’t write them down. You should always have a notepad handy to write down your thoughts.
I personally try to write down three business ideas every single day just to stay creative. Granted most of them aren’t the best but it’s a great way to practice creativity.
Remember to Ask for Help
If you’re like most people you’re probably reluctant to ask for help when you need it. The misconception is that we think asking for help is a sign of weakness or that we aren’t knowledgeable. It’s actually quite the opposite. Asking for help shows that you are proactive about solving problems. In addition it will force you to connect with others on similar projects or thoughts. Remember, it never hurts to ask.
Learn Something New Every Day
Knowledge is power in this world. That said you should try to learn something new every single day. Whether it’s a simple news article or a TED talk it will give you a richer understanding of the world around you. If you don’t think you have time during the day then you’re just making an excuse. Everyone has 5 minutes to read an article.
Follow the Pareto Principle
The Pareto Principle is also known as the 80/20-Rule. It suggests that 80 percent of the results come from 20 percent of the efforts. It’s your job to identify which 20 percent of your efforts are producing your best results. Do your best to hone in on these specific efforts and scale them the best you can.
Developing and maintaining good habits is no easy task. It requires time, discipline, and a ton of patience. If you try to make changes overnight they’ll never happen. Start with one at a time and once it becomes routine you can move to the next. If you adopt the seven habits listed above you’ll be on your way to a more successful and productive life.
Renzo Costarella is an entrepreneur, avid learner, and startup enthusiast currently living in Silicon Valley. He consults for several startups in the Bay Area and is pursuing a few ideas of his own.