7 Success Habits to Power Up Your Day
I have struggled with my own productivity at times and I have come up with 7 success habits to help power up your day.
1. Make Music Playlists to Fuel your Purpose
When my oldest son was about 8, he would ask me to play “Panera” music to help him study. What he meant was the soft instrumental music playing at Panera Cafe. Music can energize, galvanize and inspire. It can also calm, de-stress and soothe. Use energizing music when you are exercising or cleaning or sailing along through your tasks, getting them out the way.
Use soothing music when you need to de-stress or center yourself, such as during meditation or while working on the computer.
Making separate playlists to suit your mood can really help make your day more productive.
2. Automate Your Day for Success Habits
Why do something from scratch when you can automate it, using resources, apps, tools and templates?
Use timers, tracking apps, scheduling suites—whatever makes tasks easier for you or helps you perform tasks and take care of responsibilities more efficiently.
3. Take Frequent Breaks
An excellent success habit is to not just take a break at lunchtime. (You are eating lunch, right?) If you spend your days sitting at a computer, schedule a break every hour (two at the max) and use a timer with an alarm to remind you, until it becomes a habit. Then get up. Walk around. Walk round the block. Do some exercises: Or just lie flat with your legs on a pillow, letting your mind wander and your back rest.
Make the breaks short—ten to fifteen minutes, maximum.
When you go back to the computer, you may find that the break stopped you from going off on a tangent, getting too involved in extraneous research or gave you the perfect opening for your next video. Solutions may suddenly present themselves, or your day will just get back into focus, so you can zoom in on your priorities.
If you’re not convinced: Before you try this, track and assess how much you actually accomplish during your regular week. Then add the breaks, track and assess. Was there a difference? Did you get more accomplished, even though you took breaks? The same? Less?
4. Create Rewards in your Day
It’s a well-known fact: If there’s a reward at the end of a difficult road, people are far more likely to stay the course. What is your ideal reward for being productive?
Remember that rewards are not always tangible. While it’s nice to eat a truffle every time you exceed seeing three clients a day, you can also indulge in rewards like using a Fitbit to measure the number of steps you take; or going for a swim, if you shave an hour off your work time. A neat treat that I discovered is that I can link myFitbit to my Reward Card at Walgreen’s. (It works with other wearable devices as well) This way the more I walk, the more points I receive so I can reward myself with a free lipstick or mascara.
The important thing is to identify the type of reward that would appeal to you—and set it up so you can achieve it. (It should be neither too unreachable nor too easy, for the best emotional impact.)
5. Read One Inspiring Article or Listen to an inspiring podcast a Day
Find inspiring blogs relevant to your goals or coaching field or life state. Bookmark them and subscribe. Choose one article a day, and read it.
6. Shorten Tasks You Find Difficult AKA Slice the Salami
If you know it’s going to kill you if you exercise for fifteen minutes in the morning, exercise for five. If you know you’re going to hate devoting a timed hour to cleaning out your inbox, just unsubscribe from six contacts; or delete twenty letters.
The important thing—especially if you’re trying to take on a new resolution or activity—is to get into the habit of doing it first. (Worry about “how long” later, when the habit is firmly adopted!)
7. Keep Track of Ideas
When you’re in a productive zone, ideas tend to fly at you out of nowhere. Make sure you devise and adopt a system to keep track of them: A physical notebook in your purse and one each beside your bed and favorite chair and car; an app such as Evernote on your computer or iPhone; even a Rolodex and index cards. I keep a notebook in Evernote called Ideas and I jot down the idea and why it is a good idea. I try to write as much detail as I can at that moment to get it out of my mind and saved for later. Some people keep a box called their IDEA Box and they toss notes with their ideas in them for later. You may think you’ll remember those ideas later, but it’s a proven fact that most people don’t: So make sure you catch them while they’re hot!