Are you wondering what the daily habits of successful people are? Maybe you are looking up to the famous entrepreneurs and CEOs of this world. You wished your business was at least a tiny bit as successful as theirs. But no matter what you try, you are just not getting there. Why them and not you? Pure luck? Barely ever.
Although there are many factors involved, it sometimes comes down to only a few things that these people do differently from you. But these small things can make a difference. Check out these 21 habits of highly successful people and see if you can apply them, too, to boost your business success.
Table of Contents
Need More Inspiration?
Just in case the following habits aren’t inspiration enough, there is more you can do. One of the top recommendations I can give you is to read one (or all) of the following books:
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey. A best-seller that has inspired millions of people around the world.
- Change Your Habits, Change Your Life by Tom Corley. Corley surveyed self-made millionaires on their daily habits and shows what habits seem to enhance success.
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. This one teaches you the science behind habits and how you can trick your brain to break bad habits and replace them with good ones.
Daily Habits of Successful People
Without further ado, let’s look at the daily habits of successful people and find out what habits make you successful:
1. Get Enough Sleep
The classic. But it’s so true. Your body and brain need enough sleep to get you successfully through the day, to enhance creative thinking and your memory function.
According to Tom Corley 89% of all self-made millionaires in his research report that they sleep 7-8 hours a night. Albert Einstein admitted that he likes and needs 10 hours of sleep (which seems to be a bit extreme but well, worked for him).
If you have any difficulties with getting enough rest, either because you can’t fall asleep or you don’t sleep through, do something about it! Often, it helps a lot to make simple lifestyle adjustments, e.g. no TV before you go to sleep, a short meditation session to come down after a busy day etc.
If that doesn’t work, go and consult a doctor. Get your blood tested to see if you are maybe lacking minerals or have a hormone imbalance, which causes sleeping disorders. You never know.
2. Get Up Early
I know, most of you will hate me for saying that. But even if you are not an early bird, give it a try. It is crazy what you can get done if you get up one or two hours earlier.
If you don’t think your brain can manage any business-related work so early, fine. Use the time to do something else. Go for a morning run. Do some yoga. Meditate. Prepare your healthy meals for the day. Read industry news.
Disney CEO Robert Iger and Marissa Mayer from Yahoo also love getting up super early to get more done. Best-selling author Tom Corley states that 50% of the self-made millionaires in his research get up at least 3 hours before they actually start to work. THREE HOURS!
Meditation gives your brain a break from the busy day. It helps you deal with anxieties and sharpens your concentration. Oprah is a huge fan of meditation in sits in stillness for 20 minutes twice a day.
With only a few minutes of meditation a day, you can improve your mindset a lot. If you are new to meditation I recommend that you download an app that helps you to meditate, for instance, Headspace or Calm.
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson claims that going for an early morning bicycle ride does wonder to his business. To be precise: His productivity has doubled since he gets up at 5 am to workout.
Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, loves to play tennis for one hour a day and Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox, exercises with her trainer bi-weekly.
And it’s true. Exercise helps your body to energize. A Harvard study reports that regular, “heart-pumping” exercise will improve your memory and learning. It makes you sharper, helps you to focus, and increases your happiness, which in turn will motivate you and keep you going.
In case you are traveling a lot, there are also plenty of tips on how you can exercise and stay fit while traveling.
5. Eat Healthily
How could your mind stay focused and energized when your body is tired and weak? You need to fuel your body with the right things. Healthy food keeps your metabolism up and your brain can work at full capacity. There is plenty of research that links a healthy diet to success, academic success in particular.
Or do you think Arnold Schwarzenegger, Susan Wojcicki, or Barak Obama eat fast food and junk food every day?
6. Personal Hygiene
Sounds odd? Well, if you can’t take care of yourself, how are you supposed to take care of your business?
Especially, when you are a digital nomad or remote worker and don’t have to go to the office, you could easily neglect that part a bit. No shower in the morning, no need to do your hair or brush your teeth and staying in your pajamas all day will be just fine…
No! This will make your brain switch to a “weekend-mode” and reduces your ability to concentrate and approach your work in a professional manner a lot.
When asked in a Reddit AMA what daily habit has the biggest impact on his life, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk answered “Showering.” There you have it.
Author J.K. Rowling urges everyone to read as much as possible. “Nothing will help you as much as reading,” says the billionaire and admits that she read anything she could get when she was a child.
Business magnate Warren Buffet said several times how important reading was and is for his career. He spends up to 80% of this workday reading and learning.
But not just random stuff. I doubt that he spends hours reading the newest Kardashian gossip. You can bet that people like him soak up everything industry-related they can find. That could be history, biographies, news, or self-help books.
If you need some inspiration, check out these incredible books that are perfect for entrepreneurs, digital nomads and travelers.
If you have a better understanding of the environment you are operating in, you are better prepared to deal with difficulties, find ways to improve and be more profitable.
8. Get Organized
The more organized you are, the less you will forget and the more you will get done.
Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder, uses every Sunday to get organized for the upcoming week. This is also a commonly given productivity tip.
Joel Brown, the founder of Addicted2Success, goes one step further and checks his to-do lists every evening before going to sleep to know what he has to do the following day.
Author Laura Vanderkam is also a great fan of using weekends for reflection and organizing. She says that weekends are a kind of secret weapon of successful people. You should use it to prepare your week so you hit Monday ready to go.
9. Don’t Multitask
The 4-Hour Workweek author Tim Ferris is no fan of multitasking. He strongly advises against it and suggests a maximum of two goals each day. This will help you keep your productivity and accomplishments high.
So try to focus on only one thing at a time and get rid of the habit of being all over at the same time.
10. Positive Attitude
Think of what you have achieved so far and what you can look forward to. If you keep a positive mindset, you will approach things differently.
Joel Brown, the founder of Addicted2Success, says that you should make gratitude and positive self-talk to one of your priorities if you want to be successful.
Steve Jobs was also known for his positive mindset. He wasn’t afraid to fail forward but always tried his best to approach the future with an affirmative approach.
11. Don’t Get Upset About Nothing
Highly successful people don’t waste their time getting upset about small things. The traffic jam is annoying? Sure. Is there anything you can do about it? If so, do it. If not, no need to wound up.
If you can’t control a situation, getting upset or worried doesn’t help you at all. It only takes away your energy. So don’t bother. Use the time in the traffic jam to do something productive, e.g. reading.
Another habit of successful people is that they take time every day to reflect. Many spend about 15 to 30 minutes every morning to think about their career, personal relationships or health. This helps to reduce stress, relax your body and brain, find areas to improve and see things you can be proud of or happy about. Plus, you won’t lose sight of the bigger picture.
Just like Bill Gates puts it: “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
If you want to take this to another level, start keeping a journal. Even Napoleon Bonaparte and Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote a journal about their thoughts, emotions, and accomplishments.
13. Practice Gratitude
Don’t take anything for granted and be thankful for what you have.
The former CEO of Campbell Soup, Doug Conant, sent more than 30,000 handwritten thank-you notes to his employees and clients during his career in the company.
Laura Hertz, CEO of Gifts for Good, also likes to practice gratitude: “First thing when I wake up, I write down three things I have to be grateful for, three things that would make that day great, and one daily affirmation.” This helps her to improve her happiness and reflecting on who she wants to become.
14. Uplift others
Where’s the point in putting others down? Are you scared of competition or annoyed about youngsters? This negative energy only drags you down, too.
Instead, many successful people use their energy and power to encourage others and uplift them. They share their positive energy and influence others. By doing so, their own happiness and motivation increase, as well.
15. Give Back
It’s easy to share your success, e.g. through donations, when you are rich, right? I mean you have enough money anyway.
While this is true, you can also give when you don’t have a huge bank account like Mark Zuckerberg or Oprah. Volunteering in your local community or around the world is always an option.
In fact, 73% of the self-made millionaires that Corley interviewed said that they volunteer for a minimum of 5 hours every month.
If you want to volunteer in another country while working online, check out the program Venture with Impact.
Another thing that highly successful people have in common is networking. It is important to exchange your ideas with others, learn from them and get support when needed.
This is especially important when it comes to networking with other successful people.
Corley claims that 79% of wealthy people spend a minimum of 5 hours a month networking, whereas only 16% or poor people do so.
17. Surround Yourself with the Right People
It’s no secret that negative, toxic people will pull you down in the long run. That’s not only the case for your mood but also for your business success.
Seek people who are highly motivated, who are positive, energetic, passionate, and strive for more, just like you.
As a remote worker, coworking spaces are great places to meet other like-minded people. Or join local groups with the same career interests, e.g. on Meetup. If you are in the middle of nowhere, you could also “spend time” with these kinds of people online, for instance in specific Facebook groups or forums. Seek for an active exchange of knowledge and mindset, which you can profit from.
18. Don’t Waste Your Time
How many minutes (or even hours) do you spend each day on online gaming, checking your Facebook feed, or watching Netflix?
While your brain surely needs time to calm down, don’t spend too much of it on these common time wasters. Money and time are two of the most crucial factors on your way to success.
Try to become more aware of what you spend your time on and rather use it for something that is valuable for your success.
Use apps like RescueTime to track and analyze how much time a day you really spend on things like emails or internet surfing a day.
19. Time for Hobbies
While you shouldn’t waste your time on things that don’t help your career, you should definitely make time for hobbies. This will help you relieve stress, foster creativity and they are a great way to network with like-minded people.
That is why many successful people are also very interesting people. Warren Buffet, for example, likes to play the ukulele. Meryl Streep enjoys knitting and George W. Bush goes for oil painting.
20. Control Your Money
Make it a habit to be economical. By saving money and avoiding overspending, your chances are good that you keep your finances under control on the long run.
Best-selling author Shama Hyder says that she checks her bank accounts every week to keep track of everything that coming in and going out.
Brittney Castro of Financially Wise Women agrees to set a weekly date for your finances: “You’re reviewing your spending and maybe your budget. It just brings this whole new level of awareness.”
Extra Tip: If you struggle with your money, have a look at my favorite money-saving tips that saved me more than USD 10,000 in one year!
21. Take Action
You can think about a new business idea or project for months and years, or you can simply start with it. It might not work. But some things you will only find out by doing.
The best ideas aren’t worth anything if you don’t make them work. Instead of coming up with reasons why something couldn’t work out, successful people focus on why it can work and just get started.
Author James Clear says that these people often act even before they feel ready. So what’s stopping you?
Do These Habits of Highly Successful People Work For You?
Now I’m not saying that you should go and apply all of these habits to your lifestyle right now. But go ahead and give it a try. See, what methods would work in your life and if they improve it in any way. Not all of them will work for everyone.
However, I think that these habits of successful people are a great inspiration and show you, that just a few adjustments can have a significant impact on your life and career.