Do you ever have those days when you’re rushing around like crazy, yet nothing seems to get done? Yep, me too.
Modern life is busy, and sometimes 24 hours just doesn’t stretch far enough. So how come there are people out there who seem to be churning through life, and packing more into a day than most people manage in a week?
It’s a good question, so I went out to get some answers.
I approached 16 entrepreneurs from a wide variety of backgrounds and convinced them to reveal the everyday business tips that give them that edge; and here they are – the 16 habits of successful people.
Get moving: ‘Every morning I exercise – be it a full hour of heart-hammering cardio, or just a walk with the dog. It helps me to focus, and clears my brain for the rest of the day.’
Kate Thompson, author of Secrets of the Singer Girls and Secrets of the Sewing Bee
Plan ahead: ‘Having a business plan is key to success; everybody hates doing them but they’re the backbone of your business.’
Jason Wells, Founder of Brew Café
Don’t get desk bound: ‘Your best thoughts come when your mind is allowed to wander freely; I take long baths to stimulate my creative thinking (it deeply relaxes the muscles so the mind can think more creatively).’
Deborah Mitchell, founder of Heaven Skincare
Use digital delegation: ‘Entrepreneurs are extremely busy; successful ones put their time to good use by using technology and productivity tools for the more mundane administrative tasks, such as managing the business and finances.’
Gary Turner, co-founder and UK managing director of cloud accounting software company Xero.
Sleep it off: Personally I wake up every day at 5am in order to arrive at work around 5.45am. This gives me a good head start on the day and allows me to get lots done before the phone starts ringing and emails come flooding in. These few hours before everyone else starts work are by far my most productive of the whole day.
Johnny Wallbridge, founder of Yakwax
Work towards your goals: Take one deliberate action every day towards your goals, dreams or passions. Break down the big goals or achievements into small manageable steps and actions. Ask yourself, who do I need to reach out to? What do I need to learn? Where is there a gap in my knowledge?
Kate Tojeiro, executive coach
Do the paperwork: Every day, I tackle five pieces of paper before breakfast. These can be anything – from invoices that need sending to bills that need paying, a piece of junk mail which needs ditching, a letter from my child’s school which needs action. It gets you ahead for the day and stops the dreaded build-up of admin.
Victoria Lambert, CEO of Miss Dashwood’s Register
Switch off: The biggest thing I’ve done to boost output is remove email notifications from my computer and phone. I check my emails once an hour, and devote the entire hour beforehand to work/project advancement without constant interruption and distraction. If something is really urgent, people will pick up the phone.
Alex Ryan, Marketing Manager, Paladone Products Ltd
Don’t forget the downtime: ‘When you relax it’s easier to solve problems and come up with good ideas. Once a month we offer our staff a complimentary back, neck and shoulder massage; the wellness and motivational benefits far outweigh the cost.’
Tracey Stapleton, MD, The Spa PR Company
Mind your P’s & Q’s: Remember to say thank you. It goes a long way. A card, a bunch of lovely flowers or a thoughtful gift can make all the difference with a client.
Maria Boyle, director of MB Communications Ltd
Put family first: ‘Being successful in this day and age means having balance in all areas of our lives, and structuring our days around what matters most – our families.’
Kitty Waters, Female Empowerment Entrepreneur
Never give up: ‘Employ ‘work-arounds’ to deal with those inevitable challenges and setbacks. If you’re driving down a road and there’s tree lying across the road you don’t give up, turn off your engine and die of starvation, you find another way around. Yet when it comes to our own dreams the smallest obstacle can make people give up and turn back. Instead, find another way to work around whatever is in your way.’
Valerie Young, confidence expert & founder of Changing Course
Build meaningful relationships: Every time I meet someone I ask myself: ‘What can I learn from you, and how can I help you?’ It’s all about building networks and relationships with people, and treating people how you want to be treated.
Life coach and author of new self-help book ‘Shut The Duck Up’, Pete Cohen
Don’t stop learning: Never think you’ve learned everything there is to know. Look around at your peers and other professionals in your field (or associated ones) and see what you can learn from them. There are always new skills, new tools and ways of working that you’ll discover from others that will simplify your working life, and improve what you do.
Learn to say ‘No’: Entrepreneurs tend to bite off more than they can chew in an effort to stay competitive; the result is often an overworked and underperforming workforce. While it can be tough to say no, the simple fact is you can never be truly productive if you take on everything that comes your way. Remember, productivity isn’t how much you’re doing, it’s how much you actually get done.
Michael Brecht, CEO of Doodle, the online tool that simplifies scheduling
Write down your goals: I map out a one-day, one-week and three-month plan to keep me on track. I’m not a morning person, so it’s crucial for me write everything down at the end of day when everything is still fresh in my mind. Then in the morning – when I’m not at full capacity – I simply follow the directions of the smarter person I was the night before!
Rebecca Weber, Journalist & Writing Coach
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