Staying motivated and being successful as an entrepreneur go hand in hand. But, how do you keep yourself motivated? These tips should give you a hand!
To succeed as an entrepreneur, you must be motivated - all day, every day. The key to consistency is establishing a motivational mindset with daily habits that inspire you, keep you refreshed, and help you endure when times are tough. These 10 motivational habits of successful entrepreneurs will kick your productivity, and business, into high gear.
1. Write a Mission Statement
A mission statement will provide you and your employees with a purpose and framework, drive performance, guide change, and even increase your motivation. It should be written early on and answer the following questions:
- What do we do?
- How do we do it?
- For whom do we do it?
- What value are we bringing?
2. Set Goals and Track Your Progress
Writing down your goals and creating an action plan increases the likelihood of achieving them. The SMART technique for goal setting is the most popular method used by entrepreneurs and startups today. The SMART acronym provides a comprehensive definition to help you effectively state each of your goals by making them specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound.
Tracking your SMART goals helps you identify weaknesses and strengths, keep yourself accountable, and adjust course when necessary.
3. Find Daily Inspiration
To increase your motivation and maintain it over time, implement simple daily rituals that charge your batteries and fuel your endurance. Meditating for 15 minutes each morning helps calm the body and mind before taking on the day’s tasks. If meditation isn’t your thing, start the day by tuning into a short, motivational TED talk by an inspiring entrepreneur to chip away at mental blocks. At the very least, tap into a wealth of inspirational quotes of the day for a daily mantra and positive reinforcement.
4. Be Organized
The Pomodoro technique is one of the most effective ways to master time management and stay organized. This simple technique keeps you focused on the task at hand and eliminates distractions. Tasks are broken up into 30-minute chunks called Pomodoros, which include 25 minutes of uninterrupted workflow followed by a five-minute break. For every fourth Pomodoro, your break extends to 15 minutes. You can do whatever you like during break periods as long as you return to your 25-minute work period at the end of each break, and if you don't maintain a steady workflow for 25 minutes, the Pomodoro doesn’t count.
This technique helps make large tasks more manageable, increases productivity, and alleviates burnout. You will be amazed when what you had anticipated taking all day, such as writing a long-form blog post, is achieved with only a few Pomodoros. There are many Pomodoro apps available for your mobile or desktop that track your time and help you plan tasks. And analyzing your Pomodoros at the end of the day helps you to create better work habits.
Similarly, the Getting Things Done technique, or GTD, helps you collect and sort out your to-do lists, so you never get stuck on planning or trying to remember what to do next. To avoid tinkering too much with your GTD and, potentially, neglecting your actual work, combine it with the Pomodoro technique and you’ll create the ultimate workflow.
5. Channel Negative Energy
The best way to combat negative energy is to transform it into positive solutions. Worried about the upcoming rent? Turn you fear into a positive motivator by picking up the phone and drumming up some business. Other ways to combat negative energy include:
- Looking for opportunities rather than challenges.
- Feeding your positivity with inspirational music and uplifting books.
- Thinking like a golfer by focusing on the positive shots.
- Surrounding yourself with positive people.
- Being aware of your external environment without letting it consume you.
Also practice the E + P = O formula, which holds that while we can’t always control life’s events (E), we can control our reactions so that they are positive (P) and, in turn, determine the outcomes (O).
6. Get Social
Spending time with friends and family provides a necessary break from work to nurture personal relationships that lighten your mood and fill you with positive support and motivation. Be fully present by turning off your ringer and email notifications so that the time you spend socializing is truly quality time.
Participating in webinars or conferences not only provides social support, but it also facilitates learning and keeps you from becoming complacent. Socializing at work can also boost your productivity and make your work life more enjoyable. Take this short quiz to see if you should be more social at work.
7. Keep Fit and Healthy
A healthy body means a healthy mind. It’s easy to get so caught up in your daily tasks and routine that you forget to eat healthy snacks (or eat at all), drink plenty of water, and exercise. But making time in your day for healthy activities will have an amazing impact on your performance and motivation.
Wake up a little earlier and charge your batteries to meditate, take a brisk walk or run. Starting your day earlier helps you feel more in control. Try setting a daily limit on your cup of Joe, and avoid the urge to splurge on sugar and carbohydrates because the short-term energy boost they provide is followed by crashes of fatigue and mental alertness. Snack on fruit, nuts or raw vegetables instead.
It only takes a week or so of being consistent to create enduring habits. Pay attention to your energy levels; if you find a morning workout cuts into to your most productive work time, shift your workout to the midday or evening hours.
8. Get Plenty of Rest
The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get between 7-9 hours of sleep each night. You may be sleep deprived if you:
- Need an alarm clock to wake up.
- Rely on the snooze button.
- Feel sluggish in the afternoon.
- Feel drowsy after eating or while driving.
- Try to catch up on sleep on the weekends.
- Fall asleep in front of the TV or five minutes after going to bed.
The effects of chronic sleep deprivation include lack of motivation, inability to cope with stress, irritability, reduced creativity and problem-solving skills, and problems with memory and concentration. So be sure that you get enough rest and schedule downtime.
9. Develop a Healthy Work-Life Balance
A healthy work-life balance means prioritizing between your work ambitions and lifestyle goals. If you always look for ways to free up time to work more, spend more time working than you had planned, use work to alleviate feelings of helplessness or guilt, ignore others who suggest you cut back on your work hours, or become stressed when you are unable to work, you may be a workaholic (and more prone to disorders such as anxiety, depression, ADHD and OCD).
High performers work in healthy, sustainable ways while workaholics feel burned out and approach work in unhealthy, unsustainable ways. Take a look at your priorities and list them from most important to least important. Are you deprioritizing leisure activities and exercise because of your work? A healthy list will start with intangibles such as family and health, with work and the pursuit of material things towards the bottom. Working smarter, rather than harder, will get you further in the long run.
10. Start the Night Before
One of the most successful entrepreneurs in history, Benjamin Franklin, asked himself every morning, “What good shall I do today”? Similarly, at the end of each day, he asked, “What good have I done today”? Before going to bed, review your day’s activities to celebrate your wins and improve on your shortcomings. Jot down three priorities for the following day and leave a note on your desk or computer. Then do whatever it takes to minimize distractions in the morning such as setting your pot of coffee on automatic or laying out your work clothes.
Entrepreneurship is challenging but also incredibly rewarding, especially when you incorporate daily, motivational habits into your daily routine. Focus on one to start, and after you’ve mastered that one, implement another. These simple habits will propel you into living the life of an exceptional entrepreneur and drive results that directly affect your productivity and happiness.
How many of these habits do you have? Do you think they would help you? Let us know in the comments section...