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Leadership Thought #326 – Daily Habits Make A Difference

March 28, 2012

Free Woman Practicing Yoga Stock Photo

Your habits end up defining you as a person.

A career and life are just a series of interconnected days.  Success comes about by developing constructive daily habits.  Most people tend to “wing it” instead of creating some sense of consistency and discipline in their lives.  As a result, they regularly end up dealing with the consequences of undisciplined behavior.   Sure, some people get lucky, but this is a small number and not a good life strategy.   I’ve observed the following successful behaviors in my clients, colleagues, and friends:

  1. Get up and go to bed around the same time every day during the work week – make sure you get enough sleep.
  2. Wake up early to get a good jump on the day – avoid rushing around early in the morning.
  3. Do your best to eat healthily whenever possible.
  4. Do some level of physical exercise every day – stay fit.
  5. Start your day by planning your day and establishing specific action items.
  6. Only check your email/voice mail a few set times a day – don’t become addicted to instantaneous reviews or response.
  7. Try and have at least one business development conversation/meeting every single day.
  8. Spend 15-20 minutes walking around the four corners of the office and interacting with your colleagues/employees.
  9. Briefly check-in with direct reports every morning with a more substantial conversation on a weekly basis.
  10. Whenever you touch a piece of paper, deal with it, file it or forget it.
  11. Commit to daily reading of materials relevant to your industry/business/position.
  12. If you have a family, establish healthy consistent boundaries in terms of when you will be home and committed to the family.
  13. When you are at work focus on work, when you are not at work focus on something else.
  14. Look for an opportunity to do something nice for someone else close to you either personally or professionally.
  15. Keep a journal and spend a few minutes at the end of your day debriefing your day.


How would you assess how you are spending your days?  How many of these items could you check off?  Do you feel in control of your days or are they controlling you?  Don’t bite off more than you can chew all at once but slowly add these habits over time and I believe you will end up happy with the results.