Some experts believe a leader’s ability to get the most from themselves and their team stems from their ability to establish good habits. According to James Clear in fact, bestselling author of Atomic Habits, what you repeatedly do as a business leader will largely determine how successful you are.
With that in mind, we’ve gathered 8 daily habits of top leaders that you can use to inspire your own.
What the best leaders do every day
1. Prioritize practicality
Effective leaders understand that developing practical habits to streamline their day frees them to focus on bigger matters alongside their team.
- Planning and scheduling activities the evening before
- Implementing daily productivity hacks
- Keeping your goals top-of-mind by writing them out every morning
Many successful professionals also make it a point to review what’s new in their industry each day.
2. Work intentionally
Being intentional about your day makes it easier to stay focused on what you want to achieve. Rather than being constantly led around by their inbox, for example, top leaders take frequent timeouts to close their eyes and visualize how they want their day to unfold.
3. Challenge themselves
To stay on their toes, some business executives set brief but trying tasks for themselves on a regular basis.
Here are some examples:
- Committing to a new organizational skill
- Reaching out to a new network connection
- Experimenting with a novel money-saving technique
Overcoming small hurdles like these helps build the necessary knowledge and confidence to conquer bigger challenges.
4. Keep active
Research has long shown that keeping active is an effective way to boost mood and energy levels. Many CEOs, however, swear by the notion that staying fit isn’t just about self-care – it’s also about setting an example that encourages your team to stay well and productive.
5. Practice mindfulness
When you elect to reduce stress, enhance focus, and aid productivity by practicing mindfulness, you put yourself in good company!
Some of the successful leaders who’ve made mindfulness meditation a regular habit include:
- Founder of Salesforce, Marc Benioff
- Billionaire hedge fund manager, Ray Dalio
- Former LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner
If meditation isn’t for you, you can still reap some valuable benefits by finding other ways to stay mindful at work.
6. Stay connected
Do you keep in regular contact with the people in your charge? “Walk-arounds” are a common leadership habit. By stopping to chat with individual team members daily – or conducting regular, one-on-one virtual check-ins – you’ll stay better grounded and more approachable as a manager.
7. Learn something new
Many inspirational leaders claim reading as a key factor in their success. But making books or blogs a daily habit is just one of the ways you can continue learning as a business owner. Seeking out a new piece of knowledge from just one of the people you meet or interact with each day, for example, will help keep you curious and open to new possibilities.
8. Focus on meaningful habits
Good habits aren’t a one-size-fits all proposition. The more meaning a routine holds for you, the more likely you are to stick with it. Some leaders, for example, start every day by basking in the “good-news-only” headlines, or watching a brief but inspirational video clip. Others make it a habit to show their employees how much they appreciate them by springing for perks like team lunches.
As you carve out your own daily leadership habits, try pinning these wise words from Aristotle where you can see them each morning: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.”