Everyone knows that to succeed as an entrepreneur takes dedication and focus. The problem with that recipe for success is that it’s exceedingly vague.
What most entrepreneurs really need to help them reach their goals are actionable day-to-day tasks, commonly known as good habits.
Good habits are little things that you incorporate into your daily routine until you’re so accustomed to doing it that it just feels wrong if you don’t.
If you’ve ever made a healthy dietary or lifestyle change, you’ve experienced how habituality can turn something that seems like a chore (exercising every day before work, for example) into something you do automatically and dislike not doing.
For entrepreneurs and marketers, good habits often translate to doing a manageable task every single day instead of doing it in periodic bursts.
The person who runs a mile a every day is practicing better fitness than one who decides once in a blue moon to run ten miles that day.
Makes sense, right? Keep that analogy in mind when look at how you’re managing your work and time currently.
There is no one-size fits all recipe of good habits that will work for everyone (otherwise every business would be successful).
But some are near-universally beneficial, especially if you’re an entrepreneur who does most of the work, including marketing, yourself:
Write Content Every Day for 30 to 45 Minutes
With the content management tools we have today, it’s possible to do an entire week’s worth of blogging in a single day.
No matter how you organize your blogging time, you should use a CMS, but trying to create a week’s worth of posts at once is a bad idea.
If you set a small amount of time a day to work on them, you’ll find that you’re less rushed, and the quality will be better.
If, after a while, you find that you can create a post in 20 minutes, that’s all you need to allot yourself. But if you’re responsible for your own blog posts, you need to be writing every day.
And if you have a dream to use your expertise to write a book, this method (One hour a day) could net you more than 100,000 words in about three months.
Spend 10 Minutes a Day directly on Social Media
Organizing a flow of social media posts on a platform like Hootsuite is great, but you shouldn’t be doing everything from your remote dashboard.
Check your business Twitter and Facebook once every morning and once every evening for 5 minutes. Post something that’s timely (or just actually on your mind at the time it’s posted).
Interact with other users, like or favorite posts, and check the trending topics for anything you might be able to contribute to meaningfully.
Worried that you’ll never get out of Twitter in five minutes?
Train yourself keep it to 5 minutes at a time by using the mobile apps instead of opening them up on your work computer, and setting your phone’s timer for five minutes.
When the timer goes off, you’re done.
Giving your social media accounts even that small amount of daily “face time” can help your social media presence steadily grow.
Assign Certain Tasks to Days of the Week
On Fridays, for example, you can take all of the daily blogging you’ve done over the past week and organize and schedule it.
Mondays might be reserved for creating a new marketing campaign, Tuesdays might be podcast or Youtube day.
It’s also a good idea to designate one day a week as a day where nothing is scheduled, including meetings.
This will give you a full day every week to focus on nothing but your current projects.
Even if you can’t set the same day every week (which, going back to the concept of a habit, is ideal), you shouldn’t have appointments scheduled for every single day if you can help it.
Take 5 Minutes a Day to Promote
You’ve worked hard on your blog posts, and you’ve linked them to your Twitter and Facebook.
That’s good, but if you allot just 5 minutes a day to linking them on other platforms such as StumbleUpon or Reddit and staying on top of their reception can seriously build up your reputation and give you a big increase in website hits over time.
Only Take Calls During a Certain Time During the Day
If you don’t have an assistant to hold your calls, simply create a message for your voicemail that informs callers that you check your messages at, say 1 p.m., and you take and return calls between 1 and 2.
This allows you to work more efficiently throughout the day, without interruption. You can always set an emergency tone for selected people so you don’t miss an urgent call.
This method works great for email, too — instead of a voice message, set you vacation response to let people know when they can expect a response.
Then turn off the email alerts on your phone and computer to reduce the temptation to check your email frequently.
Don’t Forget to Give Yourself Breaks
Whether you work in an office building or out of your home, one good habit that can help with stress and lift your mood is to give yourself a couple of 10 or 15-minute breaks, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.
(This doesn’t include lunch, which you should also give yourself daily). Have a cup of coffee, read, check your own Facebook account (only do this during your personal break time!) or take a walk around the block.
When your breaks are scheduled for the same times every day, it allows you to sectionalize your days into smaller, more manageable blocks of time. Schedule project work and meetings accordingly.
If you’re currently working without a routine, ease into your new habits.
Pick one new habit a week, and if it works for you (keep in mind that every habit isn’t productive for every person), keep doing it and add another new habit the next week.
In a few weeks, you should be seeing an increase in productivity.
Once your new habits become routine, the disorganization that might feel comfortable for you now will become something you’ll want to avoid.
Do you have daily good habits you swear by? Let us know about them in the comments!
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