9 productive habits that works.
As an entrepreneur I’m always looking for things that can ease my day-to-day activities. During so I’ve managed to create my own set of habits that helps me endure and conquer the problems being thrown at me. I want to share these habits with you, don’t be afraid of change, embrace it, in the era of GitHub you can always roll back if you don’t like what you’ve changed.
1. Meditate, Mind Control.
In my mind there are all these objects, shapes, ideas… I spend more time doing emails than practising mind control. I’ve come to find this quite weird. Did you know Stanford University researchers consider meditation to be the #1 way to boost willpower? Regular meditation increases grey matter in the prefrontal cortex, which governs decision-making. Over time, you’ll greatly improve your ability to avoid distractions and stay focused on the task at hand.
2. Optimize Your Morning Ritual.
To understand that there is no such thing as “waking on the wrong side”, it’s all about your own willpower. You’ll learn that the way you spend your first waken hour sets the tone for the rest of the day. By taking the first 15 minutes to get your body and mind into the right state will help you reach optimal performance levels. This can be done through meditation, visualization, physical activity, reading, practicing gratitude, yoga, journaling, or even taking a walk around the block, find your own best practice.
3. Visualize Your Ideal Day.
I asked around fellow entrepreneurs how to stay focused, and almost all av them mention lists. I love lists, but I also like to visualize. Like any high performing world class athlete, you need to have certain visual goals set clearly in your mind in order to preform on an optimal level. In the morning, before you start your activities do this: Get clear on what you want to accomplish during the day, then visualize yourself going through the different activities swiftly and efficiently. Once you open your eyes, you’ll be ready to make your day a masterful piece of performance.
4. Rest Before You’re Tired.
This is one of the things I find the most difficult to remember. But I need to become better at this due to the fact that one of the keys to optimal productivity is to stay mentally fresh through the day. Tony Schwartz says “Human beings are designed to pulse rhythmically between spending and renewing energy. That’s how we operate at our best.” To keep your mind clear take breaks every hour, 10 minutes, try out the app Time Out, it simply looks the computer for 10 minutes, forcing you to actually take the break needed.
5. Get Active During Your Breaks.
To optimize your 10-minutes break, we need to consider what the human body needs. In order to freshen your head we need to increase the blood flow to the brain, this can easily be done through a series of brief exercises take 5 minutes of physical activity (50 jumping jacks, 20 push-ups and 20 squats). Then use the 5 minutes left to practice some meditation. This helps you to stay focused on your previous visual goal, and not lose track of the things you need to get done.
6. Work with Intention.
Many of my friends giving me inspiration to write this post also mentioned that one thing that helps them out, is to work with intention. Internet is an amazing tool but it’s also the greatest time-waster in the history of mankind ( procrastinators best friend ). To avoid falling pray to it’s endless distractions, make sure that every time you sit down to work at the computer, you’re intentional about your work. Get crystal clear on what you’re about to do and write it down. Once that’s done, get straight to work. Don’t waste 1 minute. If your able to turn off notifications, and block Facebook, and set times in your schedule when it’s ok to check these things. My good friend Niklas says – “For me, the most important thing I did was to turn of all notifications and only check email twice per day. That has literally rewired my brain into acting, not reacting” - Niklas Agevik, CEO of Instabridge
7. Unplug AFT #FTW.
Like Jonas Lejon told me, “You need to get another hobby”. I try really hard to make sure that I have things todo outside the digital realm, things like running, regularly exercise, kite surf, long walks. This is good and all, but in a world that’s constantly connected, I forget how taxing this is too our cognitive system. So recently I’ve tried to take one day every week and completely unplug and do a techno-detox. I put the computer aside and seek out other things, spend time with my loved ones, read a book, paint, journal, lay in a hammock, call a friend, volunteer, etc. If you’re courageous, why not put your phone on airplane mode for a few hours too? I promise, the next day, you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and refocused. Some of my friends already got to experience how hard this is for me, even the simplest thing like sending a text is hard on a day when your off limits from technology… And mom the phone is off for everyone not just you.
8. Be Grateful – Make others smile.
Shawn Anchor best know for his TED talk on happiness, reveals that our brain performs up to 30% better when we’re feeling happy. A simple way to boost your happiness level is to take a few seconds every hour to think about the things you’re grateful for. In order to be happy you must also realize that happiness don’t come from the inside, you need to focus outwards, on the people around you. If you make others smile, stop thinking about all the things you don’t have but want and start out by doing things for other people. You will pretty soon understand that true happiness, comes from others. Just like #kidpresident says, “make something awesome, make other smile” . This is something that we program in the core culture at our startup, we want to make other people happy. And it has gotten us a long way.
9. Finally, Ask for Help.
If you find yourself in a position similar to mine, there’s a good chance you’re the type of person who takes pride in doing things all by yourself. For the longest time, I did the same. But recently, I’ve realized that asking for help not only makes my life a LOT easier, it also gives other people a chance to show how amazing they can be, stop micro manage, and start handing out work. The people around you will feel more accomplished and you’ll grow your network, Win-Win. So the next time you find yourself stuck or uncertain on how to move forward, don’t put on Skrillex and bang your head against the wall, simply ask for help.
I got the energy that I needed so badly back, I got the chance to scout the internet for help, but most importantly I asked my friends and fellow colleagues for help. And your words and ideas and diverse thinking helped me produce this little article. The ideas are yours too, Thank you: Niklas, Daniel, Nell, Jonas, Arvid, Jonny, Niklas, Magnus, Oskar, Jennie, & Otis.