Everybody has a day-to-day routine they live by. Whether it’s something we learned from our parents or something we picked up on the way, to some extent, they define who we are. Taking this into consideration, it’s no accident that after years of interviews with the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, people began to recognize a pattern.
Making hobbies professions is not an easy thing to do. At the end of the day, it means turning a 9 to 5, into a 24/7. Because of this, there is no “forced structure” to your day like office working hours.
You need to be more conscientious about how you build up each and every day to achieve maximum productivity but still make it more “leisurely” than normal office work.
Here are some things that we can learn from entrepreneurs that can make anyone healthier, happier, more productive, and more successful in the long run.
Plan A Daily Routine
Another thing people have to get used to when running their own business is “running a diary”. Because ultimately that’s what this is, and some people loathe it. To get more used to it, make it into something that gets your creativity flowing, and motivates you day by day.
Most successful business people have stated that they start each and every morning by looking at their calendars and prioritizing their tasks. If you work best during a specific time of the day (early mornings, after lunch, or late evenings), make sure to block out those hours for concentrated, undisturbed work time.
Morning planning also includes scheduling your breaks, prepping for meetings, and going over the key steps in your day.
Don’t Check Your Phone in the Morning
Another key ingredient these people have in common when it comes to their morning routine is not checking their phones right away. Your mind and body need time to wake up and catch up to the natural happenings of the day. A good rule of thumb when starting to “unlearn” this toxic habit, is only checking your phone after:
- Making your bed
- Washing your teeth and/or taking a shower
- Having your coffee and/or breakfast
- Had your morning workout/yoga/run
- Planning your day
Making these steps a priority over the use of your phone allows your body to create a natural rhythm in which it can fully wake up, breathe fresh air, look outside, etc.
Most successful entrepreneurs take this a few steps further by actually doing top-tier tasks (chores, errands, or office tasks) before checking their phones, getting that out of the way before distractions can occur.
Others limit the amount they look at their phones to 3-5 times a day, making sure to fully focus on their tasks, projects, and even breaks and family time. This too will not only result in a more productive workday but a healthier and more balanced personal life.
Cutting the use of your phone down to the bare minimum can be daunting, which is why you should try to take it one step at a time rather than expecting too much of yourself, ultimately disappointing yourself and giving up quickly.
So those just starting out should start slow, by cutting out phone usage in the morning, and maybe only checking their phones every 1-2 hours instead of every 5-10 minutes.
The importance of single-tasking isn’t only about how much you can keep in mind in one moment. It also entails the number of goals these successful people set for themselves. For instance, if you want to start behaving and living life like an entrepreneur, jumping right in is not the answer. Setting too many tasks, goals and expectations will only cause disappointment, tiredness, and lack of motivation in the long run.
So rather than setting 10 goals at once and starting right away, prioritize this list, and start with one sole task. You’ll realize how easy it is to implement one small thing, so after a few days, you can add another. For example, try limiting your phone use and only concentrate on that for a few days.
By giving it your full attention and all of your energy, you can quickly get over the hump and add a new goal, such as implementing a morning workout or solidifying your office hours. However, if you were to lie down tonight with the desire to wake up tomorrow and not check your phone the entire day, wake up super early, and start a one-hour workout routine, the next day you’ll feel overwhelmed, exhausted, disappointed, and unmotivated.
The same goes for smaller tasks. Women pride themselves on the ability to multitask, and a lot of people consider this a gift. Most of the time it is, when you’re raising three kids, have errands to run, and are talking on the phone.
But most business people realized that when it comes to concentrated work or projects, focusing on one at a time can go a long way.
Distractions, interruptions, and unimportant glitches can occur when multitasking. On the other hand, if you only concentrate on one task at a time and cut out all distractions, you can complete a 5-hour task in 1 hour.
Airplane Mode while Out of Office
Now that you’re beginning to grasp the concept of single-tasking and minimizing your phone use, you’re beginning to see the pattern in these people’s lives. They all focus on maximizing concentration as much as possible in order to get the job done quicker, and more efficiently.
To ensure this, a lot of the biggest fish in the sea have implemented “airplane mode” into their day-to-day lives. Entrepreneur Darren Hardy CEO began using the airplane mode method when he realized that he works best on a plane.
This is because sitting on a plane not only forces you to stay in one place for hours on end but also forces you to switch off your electronics, resulting in him doing most of his work while traveling.
This is why in his “jam sessions” he turns his phone on airplane mode and acts like he’s on a plane. In your times of maximum focus, no one is able to reach you. You are miles above the surface of the Earth, there is no possible way to get in contact with you.
This is an excellent way to force yourself to focus. You can even tell your secretary to keep everyone out while these jam sessions occur throughout the day. These are no longer than 60-90 minutes, but require maximum focus on your most productive times of the day.
You should always be in the moment and soak up information by focusing on a task, listening in a meeting, or even passing on information. Whether it’s you talking, or someone talking to you, you should always be present.
Not only because it’s the polite thing to do and remembering details is considered “classy”, but because everything that happens in your office should be important to you. All information passed on in the workplace is vital information that you have to use, especially as a CEO.
So listening, understanding, and speaking transparently is very important in keeping your image, and running your company.
Staying in Motion
CEOs and successful businessmen of all kinds have to take their breaks just as seriously as their working hours. This means that the phone stays turned on and the ears are sharpened for listening in the office, and at the dinner table as well. Caring for yourself is the first step in becoming an authentic and successful entrepreneur, and it all begins with your health.
Most successful people work out daily, whether it’s fast cardio, or a full-on one-hour workout lifting weights. Everything counts when it comes to moving your body, especially if you’re sitting most of the time in the office. It doesn’t matter when you work out, or even how many times, but moving regularly is a must if you want to stay on top of your game.
Speaking of movement and breaks, another very important thing in every entrepreneur’s daily routine is relaxation. This can be meditation, yoga, breathwork, swimming, and everything in between. The important thing is to make a routine out of it. Most CEOs have a relaxation session each day which they look forward to from the moment they wake up.
Most people rely on meditation and breathwork, as those help most in clearing your mind, balancing your mentality, and preparing you for the day. Breathwork can also bring incredible results in your mind’s performance and your overall health.
Take Lunch Breaks Every Day
A lunch break every day is not only about the food you eat. Not everyone craves a three-course meal in the middle of their workday, and sometimes it can be counterproductive as it can slow you down physically and mentally.
But grabbing a bite to eat and letting off steam, letting go of work for a quick half-hour per day can be life-changing. It’s important to stand up from your desk and eat elsewhere, taking a leisurely walk and a breath of fresh air in the meantime.
Some people take this time as an opportunity to get over some lightweight meetings and they schedule lunch meetings spread over the week, while others take this time to relax and unwind if even for just a short amount of time. At the end of the day, the important thing is to get out of the office and get fuel in your body again.
Clean Your Workspace
Lastly, something every successful person does each and every day is cleaning their desk. Cleaning your desk should be just as important as washing off your makeup every night, or brushing your teeth every morning.
This will eliminate every clutter from your desk, resulting in a satisfying conclusion for the day, and a clean slate for tomorrow. Physically and mentally it’s a very important step to keep in mind, not to mention that it’s a “classy” thing to do that others will surely notice and look up to.
People don’t recognize how important a routine actually is when starting an online business. It helps our brain get used to “switching” between work mode and home mode. And the faster this switch is working, the easier and healthier your life becomes. Your office hours become more determined and productive, and when it’s time to relax, you can truly learn to unwind.
The conscious structure of this balance is what makes entrepreneurs that much more successful because their brains are used to working when in work mode. Ultimately, this will allow you to do 3 hours of work in 45 minutes, which will quickly translate to happiness and well-being.