Successful people have a lot of things in common: a lot of willpower, a lot of goals, and the absolute refusal to give up. They adopt these characteristics based on the habits they develop, both big and small. Their micro habits are tiny yet essential contributors to their success.
A micro habit is a small action that is eventually meant to develop into a habit. For example, taking the stairs instead of the elevator would be considered a micro habit. It does not take much conscious effort and paves the way for healthier lifestyle habits without completely revamping your daily routine.
Here are 11 examples of micro habits adopted by incredibly successful people to help you begin to live a more productive and successful personal and professional life.
1. Answering emails within 24 hours
A mistake we often make when it comes to online communication is falling prey to extremes: either we feel the need to answer emails right away, or we end up neglecting them for several days, if not longer. Successful people give themselves a time limit, but they remain both cautious and courteous. They take time to formulate a response that won’t result in confusion and delays, but they don’t keep people waiting for longer than a day when responding.
2. Taking five minute breaks between tasks
Taking micro breaks between one task and another is healthy for our brains. Successful people do this because they understand we cannot simply switch from one task to another and expect our brains to catch up and focus immediately. Our brains need time to process and store the information we have just collected before we can productively move on to something new.
3. Saving more money than spent
We all need to spend money on necessities and living space, but often less than we think. Successful people save more money than they spend. Sometimes this is as simple as not splurging on that clearance item you don’t actually need to buy. This is a micro habit that, over time, can leader to greater financial awareness and smart spending of any finances saved and earned.
4. Turning off notifications for an hour every day
We are a society constantly bombarded with desktop and mobile phone notifications. If we let them, notifications can begin to run our entire lives, deciding what we work on when and for how long. Successful people get into the smart habit of setting aside a block of time every day to free themselves from the incoming stream of notifications, so that they can concentrate and learn how to more efficiently get things done while sitting in front of their computers doing work.
5. Giving constructive feedback to others
Successful people pay attention to and acknowledge the work of those around them. They make it a habit of not only praising their co workers and employees for jobs well done, but they also take the time and make the effort to give out constructive feedback to help others do things more effectively. No one likes to be criticized, but many are more willing to take kind suggestions from others.
6. Keeping positive affirmations
To stay successful, you often need to stay positive, even if it seems things simply cannot get any worse. Successful people often use positive affirmations to keep themselves busy and optimistic even when things get a little rough. They say, “Yes, I CAN do this” even in moments they feel like they can’t. They say, “No, I’m not going to give up” even though obstacles keep getting in their way. They use positivity to overcome.
7. Cutting out screen time before bed and immediately after waking up
Successful people limit their screen time when they aren’t at work, especially the hour or so preceding bedtime and the hour or so that follows getting out of bed in the morning. Successful people appreciate the value of sleep, and understand how much screen time late at night and early in the morning can hinder the quality of their sleep. Better sleep, combined with other factors, often leads to more success.
8. Leaving emails and phone calls alone outside of work hours
The more time outside the office we spend checking emails and answering phone calls and text messages, the less time we spend relaxing and mentally preparing for the next time we walk into the office. Whether you believe it or you don’t, successful people take time off. They don’t spend all their time working. All this will do is lead to burnout and dissatisfaction. Leave work at work and learn to spend time doing other things when you are out of the office.
9. Steering clear of drama and negative people
Successful people, honestly, just don’t have time for drama. They don’t have time to passive aggressively bicker with their friends and co workers and they don’t let negative people stay glued to their lives for long. They focus on what is most important in both the personal and professional world: getting things done, building and maintaining strong relationships, and leaving unnecessary arguing off the table for good.
10. Reading a little bit every day
Making reading a daily habit has a wide range of mental benefits. Those who read every day experience feelings of reduced stress and mental stimulation. Daily reading also promotes creativity, and creative thinking is a skill common in many professionals who have found great success over the years. Reading even a little bit each day, just a few pages or a chapter, can, and does, make a world of difference.
11. Writing in a journal
Keeping a journal is beneficial for several reasons. For one thing, it gives you a place to healthfully vent about what is bothering or concerning you, without having to take your anxieties out on others. For another, it helps you organize your thoughts and make smarter choices. All successful people have some kind of outlet for releasing their emotional baggage and planning the next steps toward victory.
Keep these habits and find greater success throughout your life. Always remember that you are more capable of doing great things than you often allow yourself to believe.