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7 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do To Make Themselves Insanely Productive

7 Things Successful Entrepreneurs Do To Make Themselves Insanely Productive
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We tend to look at world-famous entrepreneurs like Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos and just assume they have something that we don’t that has made them as successful as they are. While that might be true, it’s not because they were born with that special something; they have cultivated it within themselves through the way in which they live. Successful businessmen approach each and every moment of their time on Earth much differently than most people do. In doing so, they set themselves apart from the common man in many ways.

They eat well

How many of you grab a banana or granola bar while running out your front door on your way to work? Successful entrepreneurs don’t do this; they wake up early enough each and every day so they can start their day off on the right foot with a healthy breakfast. Eating a breakfast full of fruits, grains, and proteins can benefit your body and lifestyle in many ways, and busy businessmen know this. By eating well first thing in the morning, they fuel their bodies in preparation for the hectic day to come.

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They plan

Successful entrepreneurs know exactly what they’re going to be doing each and every day of their lives. They take time the night before to plan out the following day; some plan right down to the very minute. Many entrepreneurs plan too much to accomplish in one day. However, they do so as a contingency plan in case they happen to finish a project early, or a meeting gets canceled. That way, they always have some other activity to fall back on if they suddenly have a free block of time. They also schedule breaks throughout their day in order to recharge before hitting the ground running once more.

They set a purpose

Since they have a plan for every day, successful entrepreneurs know exactly what they intend to accomplish at any given time throughout their day. They stay focused on their goals, and keep the end in mind while working on specific projects. They also set aside distractions, such as emails and text messages, until they complete their current task. As previously mentioned, they’ll have scheduled time to check these nuisances, but they never let a buzzing cell phone distract them from attaining their goals.

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They visualize

Entrepreneurs visualize themselves succeeding at every turn. Doing so is one part optimism, one part motivation, and one part realism: They approach each challenge optimistically, believing they can accomplish whatever task is set before them; they motivate themselves to be able to accomplish the task; and they know it can be done. As mentioned before, they list their goals on paper, and sometimes sketch a picture of what their success will look like. In this way, they make their abstract ideas come to life in a tangible and reachable fashion.

They say “No”

While you might think that a budding entrepreneur would be open to each and every idea that they’re approached with, this would completely overwhelm them. Instead, they must be incredibly selective with the ideas they choose to pursue. Because of this, they have to learn to say “no” to many of their own ideas, as well as most of the ideas others come to them with. Not even Warren Buffett can create a fortune by investing in a terrible idea. Instead, the successful entrepreneur knows when to decline an opportunity that he knows will end up going nowhere in the long run.

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They value their time

Going along with the last point, successful entrepreneurs don’t waste their precious time on anything that could stop them from achieving their goals. They usually find shortcuts or come up with creative ways to reduce the time spent on daily routines. For example, one of their common struggles is dealing with the trivial yet complex technical problems of their mobile devices that they rely on to handle daily tasks. Instead of letting these technical problems eat up their time, the driven businessmen would choose to install tools like Bushel to their mobile devices. So they can simplify the processes in managing their devices. With higher productivity, they can devote more time and energy on growing their businesses.

They listen and learn

From the budding entrepreneur to the richest businessmen in the world, they all stay successful by being life-long learners. They actively seek out help and guidance from mentors and peers, and continue to keep an open mind when it comes to how they approach their business. And they never stop reading, keeping new trends constantly in mind. As the world around them continues to grow, they know the only way they can keep up is by growing, themselves.

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Featured photo credit: Dos Entrepreneurs / Kevin Krejci via farm7.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

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Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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