By now you probably noticed this month is all about the theme of habits at Mailigen. As we’re celebrating our 8th birthday, we also want to focus on what got us here. Truth is, we would have never succeeded doing what we do if we didn’t put in habits that made it possible to become more focused on what matters and develop a successful company.
By the end of this blog post, you should have a clear idea what sets business habits in the first place and what you can do to make sure these actually work. We’ve added scientific studies, along with a bunch of examples from successful businessmen who are already using these routines every single day. If you feel stuck and uninspired, this is definitely the blog post for you.
Remember, a habit can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days to stick, so whatever you do, don’t give up.
5 Ways to Change Your Life with the Power of Habit
- How to wake up early.
- How to be more mindful.
- How to be more focused during the day.
- How to take productive breaks.
- How to get more sleep.
🌞 Morning 🌞
1. Wake up early
Okay, this is a pretty simple habit that can actually make or break your entire day. Have you ever noticed how productive you get by waking up early and having a few hours of ‘me time’ before jumping on the first work task? The truth is, it’s not just you. The majority of people experience productivity benefits by waking up 3-4 hours before they actually leave to work.
Even Harvard confirmed that the early bird really does get the worm and that people who wake up early hold the most important successful business cards as they become proactive and more in tune with the typical corporate schedule.
A 2014 study found a direct link between duration and timing of sleep and negative thinking, which means you need to develop your early morning habits slowly and never compromise your required sleep time, which means you need to strategize in order to become a morning person and actually develop a solid night routine. But we’ll talk more about that later.
And don’t forget to make your bed! Having a made bed will force you to stay out of it and start your day.
How to wake up early:
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep every day.
- Set your alarm on the other side of the room.
- Set your alarm to radio and let it play for 30 minutes before your actual alarm goes off.
- Use apps that make you take a picture of an object and force you to stay out of bed.
- Prepare coffee in a thermos the night before and drink it when you wake up.
- Sleep in your workout clothes, or have them by your bedside ready for you when you get up.
- Drink a lot of water when you wake up. We recommend glass of water with half fresh lemon.
2. Journal, meditate, and exercise
Before you jump to any other tasks of your day, you should spend some time reflecting. Harvard includes plenty of studies that show a link between mindfulness and improving your brain, which in correlation leads to productivity. Only 3% of doctors actually discuss medication-free ways to reduce stress, which impacts 80% of their patients. But mindfulness has been shown times and times again as a way to de-stress in the morning before starting your work routine.
Meditation is known to increase positivity and allowing you to become more in control of your emotions – and in order to have a successful day, these are extremely important.
On the other hand, studies have also shown that journalling can help with your emotional recovery, so putting those habits in place could set your foundations and you’ll be able to develop a morning routine that will keep you productive all day long!
Exercise in the morning can also help you develop healthy habits that will set your whole mood or the day. It’s been noted that morning exercise has long-lasting benefits in many areas of your life and can improve your physical and mental strength. This includes fitness activities such as walking, yoga, running, and dancing, rather than just going to the gym. It was also shown that exercise is the one habit all successful people seem to have in common.
How to take care of your mind:
- Download a meditation app like Headspace or Calm and schedule a 5-minute session every day. Increase as you get more comfortable.
- Meditate at the same time every day.
- Do gentle yoga every morning or just stretch your muscles.
- Write in a journal and self reflect for 5 minutes.
- Spend more time focusing on your breath.
- Exercise – do something active for at least one hour every single day!
⛅During the day ⛅
3. Stay focused
Staying productive comes with many layers and plenty more habits that will guide you to your success. But how do you make sure you actually stay focused?
One of the best ways to do that is to make a to do list – but we’ll talk more about that for your evening habit routine. Luckily for you, building healthy morning habits and practicing mindfulness will help you stay focused during the day.
Entrepreneurs note that some of the biggest habits that helped them stay focused during the day included doing creative work first, allocating time, and turning off distractions.
How to be more focused during the day:
- Don’t multitask – neuroscience shows that quickly switching between activities is more exhausting for your brain than allocating specific time to a single task.
- Use productivity apps that time your work – stick to that time. Pretty useful tool for that is the Pomodoro timer.
- Train your brain like it’s a muscle by meditating and developing habits.
- Turn off all distractions and only attend to them during a specific time.
- Go through your to-do list and prioritize projects. Using
4. Take productive breaks
This is a habit that will allow you to always return to work fresh and always stay motivated. Formulas for productivity also involve taking breaks that let you recharge after successfully completing a task or dealing with something that can be draining. It’s suggested that brief diversions improve your focus as your brain can only handle so much information without a pause.
Your brain can also develop a negative habit when you stop paying attention to it – it stops paying attention to the little things and makes you become an autopilot. Taking restorative breaks is incredibly useful for your productivity and you should practice this work habit daily.
How to take productive breaks:
- Take a 10-minute break every hour and step away from your screen.
- Make your breaks social – but stick to the time.
- Take vacation.
- Have a mindful break and check in with the rest of your body to assess its needs.
✨ Evening ✨
5. Establish a night routine
As you might have noticed, a lot of the habits we’ve mentioned link to having an established night routine that will allow you to get more sleep, and wake up early and refreshed. You’ll be able to do more, focus more, and ultimately become more successful. So what is a good night routine?
We all know that having a bedtime routine is important when you’re a child, but this doesn’t change when you grow up. We just need to adapt it to our lifestyle.
One of the biggest things adults struggle with is getting to bed early. With so much on our mind, it’s hard for our brain to switch off. But sleep is essential and having a solid sleep routine will help you do better during the day. A good evening routine varies from person to person, but most successful CEOs have plenty of things in common when it comes to their sleep schedule – they go to bed early.
Remember – our bodies need seven to eight hours of sleep and adapting to those needs is essential for our wellbeing.
How to get more sleep and shut off your brain:
- Declutter your brain and write down your thoughts and to do list for the next day.
- Don’t work in your bed – set up a workstation in your home instead.
- Switch off electronics – they only stimulate your brain.
- Read a book before bed to help shut off your brain.
- Stay mindful.
- Take a relaxing bath.
- Stick to the same night schedule and develop a routine.
- Set the mood with peaceful piano music, e.g. Lullaby Baby album on Spotify.
And these are the 5 habits that can change your life! Do you practice any of them? Do they work for you? Let us know in the comments!