On Saturday, I posted some good habits for success in 2009. I probably should make editing my blog posts a habit as well. If I did, I wouldn’t create posts that run well over a thousand words and need to be broken into multiple parts.
It’s never too early to start working!
Good habits are the tools we use to achieve our goals. I cannot overstress the importance of making your goals reasonable. Bigger Pockets ‘ denizens typically are, or want to be, overachievers. And that’s fine – I’m with you! But if you set unreasonable goals, you may find yourself disappointed at the end of the year, even though you worked really hard and did really well.
Here’s the first half of “Good Habits”. Lets delve a bit deeper:
- Constantly evaluate everything you are doing
Develop the habit of constant awareness and evaluation. Always be thinking: is this the best use of my time? Is the best way I could be doing this?
- Do the most important task of the day first
This ties in with your daily goals, and with constant awareness and evaluation. The night before, you will know what you must do the next day. What is the most important task for the day? That is the first one you will tackle – with one caveat…
- Do a little work every day before you do anything else
This is more important to me than it might be to you. I always have my laptop in the bedroom, ready to go, before I go to sleep. When I wake up, my first act is to turn on the computer. But then I might get distracted by some game, or my personal email. If I do, I’ll be in trouble, because I could happily spend an hour fooling around. If I start the day with a work project – which has to fit in the window before showering, breakfast and so forth – I’ll be in a “worky” mood for the rest of the day.
Why is this an exception to the last habit? Because the most important task of the day might take a lot more than my early morning window for work. Also, the most important task of the day might have to wait if I have other scheduled interruptions such as appointments in the morning.
- Double- and triple-check every purchase
When I started in business for myself, I thought I was being frugal enough, but I wasn’t. Almost any other small businessperson has learned the same lesson. For any purchase, no matter how small, I have to consider: do I really need this? Is there a way I can get it for free, or cheaper? Can I use something else I might already have instead? These considerations apply for everything from a pack of gum to a car.
- Learn something every day
Some real estate gurus will tell you you need to be entirely focused on your business, 24/7. Some people can do this. There’s a word for them – “divorced.” I don’t want to be divorced, and I don’t want to become an obsessive crank. You should learn something about real estate every day, and Bigger Pockets is a great tool for that. But you also need to learn something that is not related to your business – maybe a musical instrument or a new recipe. Not only will this broaden you and make you more interesting to be around, it’ll also improve your mood.
- Do something every day for your core business
I learned this lesson from Steve Morse, a legendary guitarist who now plays with Deep Purple. He makes sure he plays a little guitar every single day. He might not have a gig or recording session that day – he might be on vacation with his family. Nevertheless, he always has a guitar with him, and he always plays it at least for a little while. Music is Morse’s core business and the every-day habit reminds him of this. Whatever your core business, there is always something you can do to improve it, every day.
On work days, of course, you’ll be doing a lot for your core business. Spending a half hour on work, on a work day, is not acceptable! But it’s good enough on a day nominally committed to non-work activities.
- Keep or get in good physical shape
We’ve all known out-of-shape people who were simply slobs – they didn’t care about anything, and so they let their bodies, and everything else, go to hell. But people like us are much more likely to get out of shape because we are so passionate about other things, we don’t spend a minute keeping ourselves in shape. You will pay a price for this. A half-hour of real exercise, every day, will get you or keep you in decent shape.
Photo credit: Things keeping me busy by jtbrennan