As an entrepreneur, you’re probably tired of hearing about the importance of early morning gratitude sessions. It seems like everyone has ‘the one simple trick!’ you need to add to your routine to thrive in your business, but those tricks add up and take up your time.
Not only that, but entrepreneurs are also living with high levels of stress: “The same passionate dispositions that drive founders heedlessly toward success can sometimes consume them. Business owners are ‘vulnerable to the dark side of obsession,’” Inc. reports.
However, one surefire way to get ahead of the stress is to work on developing key traits within yourself. By building new skill building activities into your routine, you will feel the benefits before you feel the inconvenience.
Still, it can be frustrating to add more tasks onto your to-do list, so we’re here to simplify it for you. Here are 3 qualities (with activities that reinforce those good habits) to focus on in your morning routine.
Act with Intention
One of the most important qualities you can develop within yourself is intention. As an entrepreneur, you need to be making big decisions with intention and purpose. While getting ready in the morning:
Don’t hit Snooze
This is hugely important to starting your day off right. By hitting snooze, you’re telling yourself that the work you do isn’t vitally important. Snooze means it can wait.
You’re going to have a negative physical reaction as well. By hitting snooze and trying to get back to sleep, your body becomes confused when the alarm goes off again. “That groggy, fuzzy-headed feeling is called sleep inertia,” according to HuffPost. This feeling can last up to four hours after it initially appears! Talk about setting yourself up for failure.
Use positive visualization
This is a huge component to making your day productive. After your alarm goes off, close your eyes (don’t go back to sleep!). Mentally move through the day ahead, anticipating any notable challenges. Come up with a few solutions for each challenge, or at least begin thinking about workable solutions. This will ensure you’re prepared for anything the day might throw at you.
Meditation has become hugely popular in the last few years “for good reason: the physical and emotional benefits are undeniable and just a few minutes a day can drastically change your life – including your life at work,” says Influencive.
Meditation teaches discipline, reduces stress, and improves mood. Set intention and start your day with a simple, 5 minute meditation. Focus on your breath and keep thoughts from wandering from your breath until the timer is up. It’s as simple as that!
Creativity is an indispensable quality for entrepreneurs. Here are 3 ways to improve your creative skills:
Dedicate time to creative problem solving
You can make this happen during your morning visualization. Think about a problem you currently have in your business, and then think about all the ways you can approach a solution. This is different from simple visualization, because that approach is looking for workable daily solutions. This time dedicated to creative problem solving is for wild, outside the box approaches to business problems. Try thinking, “If I could do anything to solve this problem without limitations, what would I do?” Putting time aside in your day to do this will make sure you’re approaching problems from all angles.
Take time for a new skill
Developing new skills is crucial for entrepreneurs. This list details all the benefits of continually learning; you will increase self esteem, grow as a person, and maybe even add value to your business with a new skill. Set aside ten minutes a day to dedicate to coding, design, or a new hobby.
Start doodling again
You probably remember doodling during class when you were young. Even though this is discouraged in schools, it’s actually been proven that doodling helps increase engagement and awareness while listening to presentations. By giving yourself set time in the day to daydream and explore, you might stumble upon your perfect solution.
Get Some Energy
Every working professional could probably use some more energy. After all, you’re always on the go, and that focus takes its toll on your energy levels. Here are 3 ways to give yourself a boost:
Hitting the gym
Working out has incredible benefits for the body and the mind, but often gets ignored in times of stress. SmallBizClub explains that regular exercisers are more creative, less stressed, and are better problem solvers than their sedentary peers. With an entrepreneur’s workload, you need all the energy you can get. Hitting the gym will give you that needed boost of endorphins and energy.
People who sit for more than six hours a day die earlier and are at a higher risk for depression, obesity, cancer, and type 2 diabetes. You might not be able to avoid your desk job, but you can avoid sitting for hours on end with some light stretching. “Just a few minutes of stretching increases blood flow through your entire body—including your brain,” says Prevention.com. This can wake you up better than a mid afternoon cup of coffee.
Taking a cold shower
Ok, we know how this sounds, but hear us out. Taking a cold shower is unpleasant, unless it’s really hot out. But starting your day out with something difficult gets you in a good frame of mind. If you can beat and even enjoy that first challenge, you’re in a conquering frame of mind!
Not only that, taking cold showers gives you a bunch of health benefits, like increased alertness, improved circulation, and less stress.
Develop these qualities within yourself and build good habits into your routine. By acting with intention, getting creative, and working for more energy, you will become more well rounded, less stressed, and a better business leader.