Many entrepreneurs and small business owners look up to and emulate successful entrepreneurs. After all, it makes sense to learn from people who created their own success stories.
Successful people share a number of habits that make them successful. This includes the things they do in living their personal lives, and how they run their businesses.
We’re written about this previously in 7 Habits of Highly Effective and Successful Entrepreneurs.
Today, we’re taking a closer look at some of our role models and their simple habits. Emulating these habits doesn’t guarantee success, but it could be a good place to start.
One of the most successful entrepreneurs, Mark Zuckerberg, has a daily habit so simple that it seems trivial. He took note from Steve Jobs, former CEO of Apple, who used to wear the same black turtleneck every day to avoid making unnecessary decisions. Zuckerberg puts this theory to the test each day with a gray t-shirt and hoodie.
I really want to clear my life to make it so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community … I’m in this really lucky position, where I get to wake up every day and help serve more than a billion people. And I feel like I’m not doing my job if I spend any of my energy on things that are silly or frivolous about my life.
There’s a science to it too! According to lots of different studies, “the aggregate total of the decisions we make throughout the day impacts our ability to clearly see the upsides and downsides of some of the decisions we must make”. Read more about decision making in The Science of Bad Decisions and How You Can Avoid Making Them.
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Serial entrepreneur Evan Williams makes it a priority to put his health first by establishing a daily workout time. While most entrepreneurs suggest working out first thing in the morning to boost energy levels and make sure it gets done, Williams found that for him, a different time worked better.
My focus is usually great first thing in the morning, so going to the gym first is a trade off of very productive time. Instead, I’ve started going mid-morning or late afternoon (especially on days I work late).
When Ferriss constructs his weekly schedule, he makes sure that his schedule is flexible. He doesn’t believe in multitasking or long, rigorous days. Instead, Ferriss maximizes his success by maximizing his motivation.
I don’t have to do anything in this schedule. I choose to do them because I like them. None of them are financially-driven or unpleasant obligations. If the chance to do something more fun comes up last-minute, I can cancel all of them.
Many entrepreneurs have evening routines which help tie up loose ends and wind them down after a long day at work. CEO of Buffer Joel Gascoigne uses his nightly routine to disengage from the hustle and bustle of his daily life and focus on himself, taking time to reflect on his day. His routine seems almost meditative and helps him prepare to recharge his mind and body for the next day.
Disengage: An activity to allow total disengagement from the day’s work. For me, this is going for a 20 minute walk every evening at 9:30pm. This is a wind down period, and allows me to evaluate the day’s work, think about the greater challenges, gradually stop thinking about work and reach a state of tiredness.
Like most of us, Basecamp founder Jason Fried tries to avoid all notifications that have collected on our phones and desktops overnight. But unlike other entrepreneurs, Fried acknowledges that it’s pretty difficult to avoid checking your phone or inbox all morning and instead does a buffer activity between waking up and answering messages. He also makes sure he eats breakfast!
I try not to grab my phone and check emails first thing. I used to do that, and it’s just not good for you. Instead, I’ll go and brew some tea and try and relax a little bit. But the computer’s always kind of pulling me toward it, so I end up looking at e-mail sooner than I’d like to.
CEO of Human Workplace Liz Ryan notices that when she spends all day working without a break, she is less productive and more prone to distraction. So Ryan compensates for it by building some time into her day for mindless activities so that she can stay productive during the hours that she is working.
So I take a break every day and poke around on YouTube, listening to old songs I love and new ones I haven’t heard. Then I post a new song every day on LinkedIn: jazz or rock or 70s’s funk or glitch-hop or whatever strikes me.
It’s important to take good care of yourself so that you have the energy to take good care of your business.
We love experimenting with different productivity hacks and routines, and learning from the experts who have mastered their routines.
What are your favorite routines or daily habits that help you be a successful entrepreneur?
Image source: The 5th