Your success story is woven out of the habits you practice daily. The following is a compilation of 16 daily habits from successful people, curated from lists at Inc.com (which you can find here and here).
1. Make daily to-do lists
The key daily habit successful people have is that they make (and stick to) daily to-do lists. All of their other productive habits stem from this cornerstone practice.
If you’re like me and have trouble sticking to a plan, make it fun for yourself. I love sports and I’m highly competitive, so I make it a game. Each day is a game plan I have to execute. I keep track of how many goals I hit each day in a spreadsheet versus my total goals for the day. Think of a way you can make planning fun for you.
2. Plan the next day the night before
Planning your to-do list the night before gives you a sense of objectivity. What you didn’t get to that day will be fresh on your mind, so you’ll always make that a priority for the next day.
3. Wake up between 5 and 5:30 AM
Virtually every CEO or entrepreneur you ask wakes up between 5 and 5:30 am. Some work out at this hour, while others enjoy a cup of coffee and read the paper. What you decide to do with this time is up to you, the important thing is just being awake.
4. Eat a good breakfast
How many times have you heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day? And how many times have you skipped breakfast this week?
Make eating a good breakfast a daily habit and you’ll have the mental energy to be productive while most of your peers are still sleeping.
5. Do your least desirable task first
Doing the task they dread most first in the morning is how successful people eliminate the procrastination problem. You will be amazed at how much mental energy doing your least desirable task first frees up.
6. Exercise in the morning
For many of us, our least desirable task is exercising. Going from sedentary to active is one of the hardest habits to implement, which is why it’s best to do first in the morning. Experts suggest that implementing a new daily habit in the morning gives you the best odds of it sticking.
7. Read daily
One of the knocks on millennials is that we’re too engrossed with technology to read books or newspapers. Many successful people start their mornings by browsing industry articles or their local newspaper over a freshly brewed coffee. Pick a couple of blogs in your industry that publish daily and subscribe to their e-mail list.
8. Do daily housekeeping of your e-mail inbox
Speaking of e-mail inboxes, what does yours look like? Is it cluttered with unopened spam? Several successful CEOs get their inboxes down to zero every day and flag e-mails that need further action.
9. Meditate every morning or every evening
Far-eastern practices like meditation and yoga have exploded within western culture in the 21st century- especially among young executives. Finding time to mediate in the early morning or late at night before bed is a great way to mentally recharge and avoid burnout.
10. Walk while at the office
Cubicle life can be pretty sedentary. Many successful people take a 5-minute stretch period every hour or so to get the blood flowing. If you have meetings throughout the day, why not conduct them while walking, if possible?
11. Maintain your network
12. Make new connections
Successful people don’t just maintain their networks- they’re always making new connections to grow their sphere of influence. Twitter chats are an amazing way to make new connections.
13. Schedule in family time
The people who truly master work-life balance physically schedule in their family time. They make it their most important meeting, and this keeps their work-life balance at a healthy level.
14. Schedule in down time
This is your “me” time. Every successful person, no matter how busy her schedule, makes time for something because it’s fun. Scheduling a ton of tasks without scheduling some fun will drain your mental energy before you even start.
15. Set weekly and monthly goals
In addition to the daily goals in the to-do list, most successful people have weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. These goals all help shape what ends up on the daily to-do list.
16. Avoid too much routine
The final daily habit you need in your life is to make sure you don’t get too obsessed with routine. It becomes too easy to fall into a rut. Do some self-evaluation at the end of each month and spice things up when necessary.
Do you have one or more of these daily habits from successful people in your daily routine? Or maybe a habit not on this list you think is key for your daily success? I’d love for you to share it with me on Twitter! (@BPucino)