As an entrepreneur or a high achiever, you may be overwhelmed with seemingly endless work or the general feeling that there’s not enough time to do everything you want to do. It’s easy to fall into bad habits or let tasks fall by the wayside simply to make it through the day.
However, it is important to establish positive habits to set yourself up for later success. Setting goals and boundaries, both personally and professionally, is necessary to sustain the life you’ve worked so hard to achieve.
To get a better idea of what this might look like, we asked members of the Young Entrepreneur Council to share the positive habits that have contributed to their success. Here’s what they suggest:
1. Create a Task List First Thing in the Morning
Every morning before the day begins, I like to briefly review my upcoming tasks for the day and prioritize them according to importance. This short 15-minute exercise allows me to have absolutely everything in alignment, and the result is a much better and more efficient day.
— Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.
2. Share Difficult Problems You’re Working Through
I’ve never understood founders who keep things close to the vest. When we’re wrestling with a major issue, I talk about it with anyone who will listen! Working through the problem with different people yields different ideas. People will want to help you, and you never know who is connected to the person who can ultimately solve your issue.
— Aaron Schwartz, Passport
3. Practice Transparency
Being 100 percent open and transparent at all times has been my guiding light for more than a decade now. Honesty is indeed the best policy. It helps in clearing out conflicts as early as possible, building healthy business relationships based on trust, and commanding a respectful corporate brand.
— Mario Peshev, DevriX
Running on a regular schedule helps me clear my mind and focus on what the biggest things are to help me succeed both at work and in life. The release of endorphins is key for sustaining a happier state of mind, focus, energy, and an overall positive mood.
— Michael Averto, ChannelApe
5. Eat Healthy
What you eat can make or break your day. I used to eat so many sugar-filled, processed foods because I was super busy and those foods were quick and available. But I felt lethargic and gross. I was doing a million things and didn’t have time to worry about what I was eating, but it affected my day. Now I bring healthy snacks with me every day, and I’m sharper and more productive for longer.
— Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution
6. Follow Up
I am a firm believer in following up on every significant encounter in my professional life. It doesn’t matter if I’m working with a new investor, giving performance reviews, or resolving internal conflicts. I always try to follow up with the other party so we are always on the same page. I believe this has led to my success because it resolves issues before they arise.
— Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
Even if it is only for five minutes, when things really ramp up and my day is getting hectic, I take a step back and meditate. This short break allows me to refocus, take a breath, and remember what is important at that moment. This is a newer habit for me, but it has been tremendously helpful in keeping me on track and productive.
— Zach Binder, Bell + Ivy
8. Let Go
Most problems are not as serious as they seem. Learn to let go of things that are not important in the long run. Here’s a simple reality-check exercise: If something won’t matter a month from now, don’t even bother to stress about it. Once you learn to let some issues slide, you’ll realize these were not the real issues in the first place.
— Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
9. Carve Out Time for What Matters
As a mother, I find that running a business can be difficult. If you want to succeed, however, you have to be able to find the time. Being able to squeeze as many minutes as you need out of your day is an important skill to have. It not only takes time management skills but also perseverance and determination. It’s also important not to get overwhelmed: You have to plan your day in order to get the most out of it.
— Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
10. Practice Your Skills
I spend a lot of time practicing my skills to improve them. That takes time, but it pays off in the long run because it sets me apart from those not willing to practice. It’s like sports or an instrument: The more time you put in, the better you get. I apply that thinking to anything I use in my job.
— Serenity Gibbons, NAACP
11. Talk Yourself Up
We don’t understand all the psychology behind why certain techniques for success work and others don’t, but a popular one I’ve been trying lately is talking myself up in the mirror. There’s something about repeating positive mantras to yourself that works. It gets you pumped for the day and ready to tackle its challenges.
— Jared Atchison, WPForms
12. Put People First
Some days I spend more time on other people’s priorities than my own. However, my service-first attitude is one of my favorite parts of being an entrepreneur. I’ve found that when I go out of my way to be helpful and accommodating, I almost always see a return on investment. Plus, befriending interesting people challenges me and makes me better. Give all that you can, as often as you can, to anyone you can.
— Brittany Hodak, Keynote Speaker
13. Reach Out to People You Admire
Talking to people I admire within the industry, as well as watching people online with a wealth of knowledge, are building blocks for success. You get to look inside the mind of someone whose work ethic and motivation you envy, and it makes you think about things differently. Talking to people I admire and whose success level I want to reach only motivates me to get the ball rolling.
— Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights
A version of this article originally appeared on SUCCESS.com.
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.