Small Business

7 Morning Habits for Successful Entrepreneurs

7 tips for small business owners and entrepreneurs, to help set you up for a productive day...
Sean QuinnPosted on Monday, September 18th 2023

If you run a small business, you'll know the importance of managing your time successfully. A productive day starts as soon as you wake up (or even before), so take note of these scientifically proven tips to help make your day a success.

1. Get a good night's sleep

When most people imagine a highly successful person, they may picture someone who wakes up at 4am every morning to get a headstart on the day.

However, the science tells us that it's actually much more important to get in some good quality sleep. Sleep deprivation can affect both our short-term memory and attention span, as well as our long-term memory consolidation and decision making.

Focusing on good sleep hygiene can help to ensure you get those crucial 7/8 hours your brain needs to function at its best.

2. Don't snooze your alarm

Although it can be hard to resist those extra 10 minutes of sleep, consistently snoozing your alarm can actually cause increased blood pressure as your body enters 'fight or flight' mode. The extra 5 or 10 minutes afforded by the snooze button won't help you feel any more well rested either; this duration isn't long enough for your body to enter the restorative sleep phase, so can seriously disrupt your sleep cycle.

3. Avoid screens first thing

For many of us, it's become second nature to reach for our devices as soon as we open our eyes in the morning (even Tesla CEO Elon Musk says he's struggling to kick the habit).

Checking your phone first thing can easily derail a productive morning. Negative news stories, messages from colleagues with urgent demands and the pull of social media can cause you to lose focus on your own intentions for the morning. Instead, staying offline for the first 20-30 minutes of your day can allow time for you to slowly wake up and set your own intentions for the day ahead.

4. Start habit stacking

The premise behind habit stacking is simple; the neural networks that allow us to complete our daily habits are already well-worn and strong, so adding new desirable behaviours on top of these makes it easier to form a new habit.

For example, most of us already make coffee or brush our teeth every morning on autopilot. Rather than trying to find additional time in the day to meditate for 5 minutes, it's easier to 'stack' this on to an existing habit and allow it to become a natural part of your morning routine.

5. Plan out your day

It's best to get ahead of the day and plan out your tasks first thing, to avoid being derailed. Having a clear plan can also help to reduce stress, and allows you to assess how productive you've been at the end of the day.

One great way to do this is time blocking; assigning blocks of time throughout your day in order to stay focussed and enter into deep work mode, rather than flitting between tasks and never completing anything.

6. Eat a frog

It might sound strange, but this is actually a tried and tested productivity method. Mark Twain famously said:

“If it's your job to eat a frog, it's best to do it first thing in the morning. And If it's your job to eat two frogs, it's best to eat the biggest one first."

By eating your biggest frog (ie. tackling your trickiest, most dreaded task) first thing in the morning, you know that the rest of the day can only get easier. Determining which task is your biggest frog can also help to determine which other tasks need attention next, or which can be dropped from your to-do list.

7. Repeat some positive affirmations

Though many people may snub the idea, science has actually proven that positive self-affirmations can improve our education, health and relationship outcomes.

Starting your day off with some positive affirmations can help to improve your mindset and reduce stress, so you feel better prepared for the tasks ahead.

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