Everyone knows entrepreneurs are high achievers. We are driven by a strong motive to achieve and accomplish things. Entrepreneurs possess a particular set of traits and characteristics that lead them on the journey of success.
But what if you haven’t quite mastered the “perfect system?” The elusive perfect routine and daily habits to help you accomplish more.
This is where stress and overwhelm can slow you down.
If this is where you find yourself in business, it’s time to forget about what everyone else is doing. Success isn’t about trying to squeeze yourself into boxes. It is about making individual choices that increase your flow and stay in your zone.
“In positive psychology, flow, also known as the zone, is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.”
When you’re in your flow it will keep you inspired and help you create a business and lifestyle with ease.
Here’s a look at six ways to gain more productivity, creativity, energy, and happiness in life and business.
1. Forget about ‘should’ time
The truth is a morning routine that includes waking up at 5 am might not work for you and that’s just fine. Perhaps you work better late at night or in short bursts throughout the day.
As an entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to discover your optimal workflow. The stress and anxiety associated with what others say you should be doing, (e.g., you should be up at 6 a.m. or you should be working from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Set your own time expectations.
2. Practice self care
We tend to invest a lot of energy into things that don’t serve us. It’s not selfish to practice self-care or to wisely choose where you spend your time and energy. In fact, it’s essential for success.
Your only obligated to do what you choose to do, not what you should. Stick around everything that is conducive to your growth and happiness. If it doesn’t support your well-being, stay away from it.
3. Take brief mental breaks
When you work to your own rhythm you can enjoy spontaneity throughout the day. If you succumb to an inevitable slump don’t try to power through it. Stop, take a break and do something else to realign yourself for productivity.
Research shows that those who give in to some kind of diversion or distraction once an hour perform better than those who just keep at it without a break. The study suggests that, “deactivating and reactivating your goals allows you to stay focused… Brief mental breaks will actually help you stay focused on your task!”
Take a brisk walk outside, listen to some music, meditate, have a dance party, or go grab some food with friends. Whatever it takes to just slip you into a different mindset for a little while and clear your mind of mental drag. The result is a boost in creativity and productivity for the rest of the day.
4. Have more fun
Sadly, for many fun is often the first thing to go when the demands of entrepreneurship are high. But this is backwards — it’s when you dare to break routine, do what you love, and get yourself around new stimuli, that your creativity flows.
Sticking to a monotonous schedule is disempowering. It leaves no room for unexpected inspiration — and therefore no room for inspired work — that comes with playtime. A stroke of genius is often discovered in the most unlikely places.
5. Don’t skimp on sleep
Sleep is massively underrated by many self-proclaimed go-getters. But when you’re well rested, you can be at your best in all areas of life and business. After all, who wants to work when all you can think about is a nap? Are you the best leader for your team when you’re cranky and groggy?
Even if you can get by on a few hours of sleep, flow (i.e., energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process) comes when you are well rested and alert. So take a quick nap if you know you need it.
6. Reframe your thoughts
How much time do you spend thinking in ways (and about things) that don’t serve you? After all, our actions and results are a direct reflection of our thoughts and beliefs.
Every time you notice a self-sabotaging thought enter your mind, make a conscious decision to reframe it in a positive way. Instead of looking at an unfinished project and doubting your ability as an entrepreneur, focus on how much you’ve achieved thus far in your journey.
Consider how much more success is to come. You have to think so it may as well be about something positive and uplifting to push you and your business forward.
This article has been edited.
Caitlin Cardoza is a humorous mindset coach for entrepreneurs, leaders, and high-achievers. For free daily content on success mindset, happiness, and unconventional personal development and life advice, follow her on Facebook and Instagram.